Pensioner, 85, questioned over death of his elderly wife, 71, in apparent mercy killing
Mr Saunders was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and treated for minor injuries after his wife was found dead
17:46 GMT, 30 November 2012
An ill elderly woman has been battered to death in an apparent mercy killing and her husband has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Mary Saunders, 71, was found dead in the bedroom of her ground floor flat in Hove, East Sussex, and her husband, Fred, 85, is currently being questioned by police.
He was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital yesterday morning to be treated for minor injuries.
Street view: Mary Saunders, 71, was found dead by paramedics in her ground floor flat bedroom in Hove, Brighton, on Thursday morning
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said that a 'mercy killing', a term used to describe the murder of a sick or elderly person to end their suffering, was one line of inquiry.
The spokesman said: 'An 85-year old man was taken from the
address to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton for treatment
for minor injuries and has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
'A mercy killing is one line of enquiry. He is currently in custody for interview and further inquiries.
'Officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team are investigating. The man and woman are known to each other and police are not looking for anyone else.
'There are no apparent external injuries and the cause of death has not yet been established. A post mortem is expected to take place today.'
Forensic scene of crime officers searched the inside of the Saunders' ground floor property (pictured) in Hove, Brighton today
Neighbours said the couple, who had
been married for a long time and had lived in the flat in Hove,
Brighton, for about six years, 'would always say hello' and were 'very
nice and friendly'.
One neighbour, who who asked not to be named,
said she had told police how she saw Mr Saunders collecting his post
and stopped and chatted to him the day before his wife was found dead.
She said: 'He seemed okay. I told police that.'
She described the couple as 'lovely', and said that Mrs Saunders was frail, had a bent back and walked with a stick.
A single police officer stood guard outside the home today while forensic scenes of crime officers combed the inside for clues.