CHARLES GRAHAM - Shocked by tragic crimes

IT has been a truly shocking week for local crime.

First came the news of a quite awful incident in Leigh in which 97-year-old Janet Morris was attacked in her own home by a stranger she had kindly agreed to help when he called asking for change for a pound coin.

In an act of monumental cowardice and evil, the stockily-built intruder then struck her from behind and knocked her to the floor, causing the poor widow to break her hip.

Leaving his victim helpless on the ground, the man then stole Mrs Morris’s purse containing £250.

Using words like “scum” doesn’t adequately sum up what right-thinking members of the public think of this criminal.

My only hope is that someone shops him, and shops him quick before he thinks to attack any more frail pensioners.

That was bad enough but then came the stunning news that the son of the Wigan Evening Post’s much-loved photographer John Leatherbarrow had been killed in an incident at a house in Leyland.

The 37-year-old, also called John, died from blood loss caused by a knife wound. A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Cards and flowers have been sent by the company and also by work colleagues and friends to the Leatherbarrows.

But as well as deep sadness and upset, one of the principle emotions in the office is one of helplessness. After all what words and assistance can be said in such appalling circumstances?

I am sure, however, that readers will join us in offering our profoundest sympathies to John and Norma at this terrible time.