Town lost for words after dad’s murder

South Holland local policing chief inspector Paul Timmins.
South Holland local policing chief inspector Paul Timmins.
Have your say

A murder inquiry unlike anything Spalding has seen for years is ongoing into the death of Warren Free (42), who died in hospital on Friday.

Mr Free, thought to be a father-of-one, was attacked inside his home in Coronation Close during the early hours of Thursday morning.

Detectives from a specialist major crime team have so far questioned seven youths – five boys and two girls – in connection with Mr Free’s death.

The detective leading the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Martin Holvey from the Major Crime Branch of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “Our investigation is continuing into the circumstances leading up to Mr Free’s death.”

A strong police presence has been kept up in Coronation Close since Mr Free’s death was confirmed on Friday and a major incident room has been set up to handle the inquiry.

Chief Inspector Paul Timmins, head of neighbourhood policing in South Holland, said: “We’re keeping an open mind about what has actually occurred. But we believe there has been some disturbance that occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning and Warren Free received some head injuries as a result of which he ended up passing away on Friday morning.

“There have been a number of people arrested in connection with this inquiry and one of our really big concerns has been engaging with the community where a lot of people know each other very well and where somebody has died.”

Ch Insp Timmins added that a family liaison officer is keeping Mr Free’s family in touch with developments in the case.

“It’s a tragic, tragic set of circumstances for the family and they are absolutely devasted,” Ch Insp Timmins said.

“But there’s a wider community that has to cope with this news and anybody that may know anything about what’s happened, even the smallest bit of details, it will be very useful to us.”

The results of a post-mortem on Mr Free’s body are not yet known and a spokesman for south Lincolnshire coroner’s office said: “Once it has been received and the information passed to the relevant parties, the Coroner will set an inquest date.”

Meanwhile, two businesses in Spalding have launched a collection in support of Mr Free’s son. The Late Shopper convenience store and Jack’s Fish Bar, both on Holbeach Road, are inviting customers to donate.

Anyone with information about Mr Free’s death should call 101, quoting incident 161 of August 28, or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.

n More on pages 2 & 3.