Murder suspect knew stab death mum

THE man arrested on suspicion of murdering a mother-of-three was a fellow fitness instructor who had known his alleged victim prior to her death, it has emerged.

Laurence Cawley

THE man arrested on suspicion of murdering a mother-of-three was a fellow fitness instructor who had known his alleged victim prior to her death, it has emerged.

John Mcfarlane, 40, of Bury St Edmunds, was arrested by police on suspicion of murder after police found mother-of-three Mary Griffiths fighting for life at her home in Bullrush Crescent on May 6.

It is understood Mr Mcfarlane, who was rushed into West Suffolk Hospital after the incident with self-inflicted injuries, had tried to take his own life in the days before Ms Griffiths' death.


You may also want to watch:


Ms Griffiths - described by her family as their “beloved angel” - later died at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury of a deep chest wound.

The EADT can today reveal Mr Mcfarlane, had known Ms Griffiths, 38, through a shared interest in health and they had worked together. He was a fellow fitness coach who used to stand in for her on classes when she was unable to attend.

Most Read

Last month, Ms Griffiths, who had worked as a fitness instructor at both Bury and Newmarket's leisure centres, had sent him a message on social networking website Facebook congratulating him on his 40th birthday. The message read: “Happy 40th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your day!!!”

A close friend of Ms Griffiths said Mr Mcfarlane had tried to take his own life in the days leading up to Ms Griffiths' death.

Police were unable to question Mr Mcfarlane while he was in hospital and he is currently being detained under the Mental Health Act.

Because Mr Mcfarlane has been sectioned, police had to release him from arrest into the detention of Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust, which runs inpatient units in both Bury and Ipswich.

The move by Suffolk Mental Partnership Trust, with whom Mr Mcfarlane will be detained, means he has been deemed unfit to be questioned and the police will not to be able to re-arrest him or question him unless he is declared mentally well enough by doctors.

A spokeswoman for the police said the force was continuing its investigation into the death of Ms Griffiths.

Suffolk police has referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for the way it dealt with initial calls from Ms Griffiths expressing her concerns for her safety prior to her death.

A spokesman for the Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust said it was unable to comment on an individual patient's case but did confirm that, as a general rule, a person who has been sectioned would not normally be interviewed by the police.

He said although that was the general rule, there were cases in which patients who were detained under the act could be interviewed or spoken to by the police but it depended on a number of factors including how the police intended to use the evidence, the advice of a patient's lawyer and a patient's willingness to speak with the police.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus