Man arrested over village murder of church volunteer, 71


Police have arrested a 64-year-old man two days after the discovery of the body of a grandmother who tended the church gardens in her quiet Hertfordshire village.

A murder investigation was launched after Christine Ford, 71, was found dead at her home in Flamstead on Saturday shortly before 8pm. Her family had reported her missing.

Known locally as Chrissy, she was a regular churchgoer and keen gardener who helped out in the grounds.

Police issued images of her neighbour, Brian Coote, 64, and his car on Monday afternoon and soon after confirmed that a suspect had been detained.

Ms Ford had moved to the village to be closer to members of her family, who lived nearby.

Over the years, she endeared herself to the village and regularly tended the gardens of the local church – St Leonards – just 100 yards from her home.

Vicar Tom Sander said “She was a committed member of the church family and regularly looked after the roses in the churchyard. She would attend church and she would help with the flowers inside the church, but she was so keen on looking after the peach coloured roses in the church gardens.


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