'Kind and gentle' 74-year-old man stabbed to death while walking dog

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

‘Kind and gentle’ 74-year-old man stabbed to death while walking dog in Sheffield South Yorkshire Police

A man who died following a fatal stabbing in Sheffield on Wednesday has been named by police.

Roger Leadbeater, 74, was stabbed to death while walking his springer spaniel, Max, through an area of parkland off Shortbrook Close in Westfield on August 9.

Officers were called shortly before 11pm to reports that a man had been found with serious stab wounds to his chest.

The ambulance service attended and Mr Leadbeater was pronounced dead at the scene, South Yorkshire Police said.

In a statement released via police, his family 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.”

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

Detective chief inspector Andrea Bowell 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.

DCI Bowell added: “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.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting incident number 1192 of August 9. Information, dash-cam and CCTV footage can be sent directly to the incident room via this portal.

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