Police name 74-year-old man stabbed to death while walking dog

Council worker Roger Leadbeater was fatally stabbed on Wednesday and a woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

A “kind, gentle” 74-year-old man who was fatally stabbed while walking his dog in Sheffield has been named by police.

Roger Leadbeater was stabbed while out with springer spaniel Max in an area of parkland off Shortbrook Close in Westfield on Wednesday evening, South Yorkshire Police said.

A 32-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody.

Mr Leadbeater worked for Sheffield City Council, driving special needs children to school, his family said in a tribute released by the force on Friday, along with a photo.

In a joint statement 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.”

Officers were called just before 11pm on Wednesday to reports a man had been stabbed in the chest.

Police and paramedics rushed to the scene where Mr Leadbeater was declared dead.

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.”

A post-mortem examination on Friday confirmed that Mr Leadbeater died as a result of multiple stab wounds.

Ms Bowell added: “I would encourage the public to avoid speculation into what happened as our inquiries 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.”

Anyone with information which could assist officers is asked to contact 101 quoting incident number 1192 of August 9.

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