A man has died after being attacked in a robbery at his Sheffield home on Christmas Day – after being robbed twice before in recent months.
A man has now been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of 61-year-old Stephen Starkey.
Mr Starkey was assaulted when he opened his door to a man who knocked on Christmas Day.
The robber escaped with cash and a games console – just two months after Mr Starkey, a disabled father-of-four, had £300 stolen in another raid at his home on Reney Crescent, Greenhill. And a year earlier he was pushed to the floor by a thug who forced his way into his home in the middle of the night and stole £210. Drug addict and alcoholic John McWilliams, aged 32, of Gresley Road, Low Edges, Sheffield, was jailed for a year in August after admitting theft and assault causing actual bodily harm.
Jailing him, Recorder Anthony Kelbrick said they were ‘mean and despicable’ offences.
Mr Starkey, who died on Tuesday night, alerted his close friend Derek Wilkinson, aged 80, to the Christmas Day raid moments after the robber fled.
Mr Wilkinson said: “He came over to me and said ‘I have been robbed and attacked again’.
“He said he’d been ‘done again’ because just two months ago he was robbed in his home. They got away with about £300 that time.
“The police were involved that time, but I don’t think they got anywhere with it.
“Whether it’s the same person I don’t know, but whoever it is they must be an absolute animal to that to somebody.”
He said when police questioned Mr Starkey about the raid his friend told them the robber had wanted money.
Mr Wilkinson said: “He said he had the door chain on but that ‘there was no point having it on’, so I think they must have barged in.
“He told the police that whoever it was had wanted money. He got away with a jar he used to keep loose change in. I am really upset at what has happened and hope the police catch who did this.”
Sydney Fisher, a neighbour of Mr Starkey’s, said: “It’s very sad. He was not a well man and was always in and out of hospital. It’s the second time he was robbed in a matter of months.
“He never made any secret of the fact he carried cash and never used banks, so maybe the wrong people got to know.”
Police officers investigating the robbery and subsequent death of Mr Starkey, a former Sheffield Council caretaker, have arrested a 37-year-old man on suspicion of murder. He was being quizzed by detectives last night.
n Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 332 of December 25 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.