VIDEO: Police reassure scared Maltby residents after knifepoint rape and murder in spate of violence

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A series of serious violent attacks, including a knifepoint rape and a murder, have prompted police in Rotherham to move to reassure worried residents.

A series of serious violent attacks, including a knifepoint rape and a murder, have prompted police in Rotherham to move to reassure worried residents.

Tommy Ward fighting for his life after the attack

Tommy Ward fighting for his life after the attack

On October 1, 80-year-old Tommy Ward was found injured in his Salisbury Road home in Maltby. He remains in a serious condition in hospital.

On October 28, a 25-year-old woman reported was raped at a property in the Grange Lane area.

Two men wearing masks entered the property and a threatened the woman with a knife before carrying out a serious sexual assault.

Two days later, Paul Sandford, 38, as found injured in his Littlehey Close home. He died on November 4.

A murder investigation was launched and a 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder has been released on bail.

Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin said the incidents are not thought to be linked. He added: “We understand the public are concerned about the severity of these crimes and I can assure you we are working round the clock.

The similarities between the incidents is not lost on our officers and we know that this makes residents feel scared and vulnerable. This is why we have increased our visibility in the area and extended patrols well into the evening to provide some reassurance.”

Rotherham councillors will meet police to discuss the attacks.

Chf Supt Harwin added: “We’re also aware that there is some frustration over a perceived lack of information shared with the public and I’d like to address this. Because of the nature of criminal investigation, we can’t share certain details with the public because to do so would compromise our investigations.

“While this might be frustrating at times, please understand that we do try to share as much information as we can, when we can, but I hope that you can appreciate that our priority must be to identify and apprehend those responsible for these awful crimes.”

Councillors Chris Beaumont, Maggie Godfrey and Amy Rushforth said: “We understand and share the concerns of Maltby residents following the recent serious incidents in our town. Councillors will be meeting with South Yorkshire Police to discuss the incidents whilst the investigations continue.”