Woman charged with murder of man, 74, stabbed to death while walking dog

A 32-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of a ‘kind and gentle’ man who was stabbed to death while walking his dog in a park.

Roger Leadbeater was knifed multiple times as he walked his springer spaniel Max through an area of parkland in Sheffield on Wednesday night.

Emergency services rushed to the incident near Shortbrook Close in Westfield but the 74-year-old tragically died at the scene.

Emma Borowy, of Fearnhead Close in Bolton, was charged with his murder today.

She has been remanded in custody and will appear before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court this morning.

Police were first called shortly before 11pm on Wednesday to reports a man had been stabbed in the chest.

A post-mortem examination concluded that Mr Leabeater died from multiple stab wounds.

Mr Leadbeater worked for Sheffield City Council, driving special needs children to school, his family said in a tribute on Friday.

They said: ‘Roger was a 74-year-old man out walking his beloved dog, Max, when his life was taken in the most brutal and cruel way.

‘Even as Roger lay fatally injured, Max never left his side. Roger doted on his family and was a good, hard-working and decent man.

‘Even at 74, he still worked for Sheffield City Council, driving children to school with special needs.

‘As a family, we can barely believe such a kind, gentle soul could be taken in such a way.’

Detective chief inspector Andrea Bowell, leading the investigation, said: ‘I know incidents like this can have a devastating impact on the wider community and I want to reassure you we are working around the clock to piece together the circumstances of what happened on Wednesday evening that led to Roger’s tragic death.

‘The community who live in the area will continue to see an increased police presence in Westfield as the murder investigation continues at pace. If you see our officers, please don’t hesitate to stop and speak to them – they are there to support the community at these most difficult of times.’

‘I would encourage the public to avoid speculation into what happened as our enquiries continue, and would also ask that the family’s privacy is respected. They are heartbroken and grieving.

‘I continue to urge anyone who has any information that could help the investigation to contact us. 

‘We are really keen to speak with anyone who may have seen anything out of the ordinary in the area in the hours leading up to 11pm, or in the early hours of Thursday morning, or who may have CCTV or dashcam footage from the area surrounding Shortbrook Close. 

‘If you are uncomfortable speaking to the police directly you can call Crimestoppers completely anonymously.’

On Thursday, a 10-year-old girl was tragically found dead at home and police are treating her death as murder.

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