Sheffield murder probe after two boys die – police press conference in full

Police in Sheffield have given an update on the murder investigation after two boys died and four other children were taken to hospital after being found ill at a house in Shiregreen.

By Robert Cumber
Friday, 24 May, 2019, 18:33

Two boys, aged 13 and 14, were found seriously ill this morning at a home on Gregg House Road, in Shiregreen, and were taken to hospital where they later died.

Police said this afternoon that four other children, aged 11 years, 10 years, three years, and seven months old, remained in hospital.

Police at the scene of the tragedy on Gregg House Road, in Shiregreen, Sheffield, where two boys were found seriously ill and later died (pic: Dean Atkins)

A 37-year-old man and a 34-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in custody.

Superintendent Paul McCurry gave a press conference at the scene this afternoon, and here’s what he had to say in full about the tragedy.

"We're here on Gregg House Road, a tragic scene of events,” he said.

"This morning at around 7.30am, emergency services responded to a property on this street.

"As a result of that, Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service attended and a number of children were taken to hospital.

“Sadly, two children have since died and four children remain in hospital.

"As you can appreciate, this is a very early stage of our investigation.

"Our detectives are supporting the family, who are aware of the circumstances.

"Our enquiries will continue to develop during the day.

"It's important I reassure the wider community that there's no wider risk.

"Two people have been arrested on suspicion of murder, and are in police custody."

Asked about the cause of the injuries, Supt McCurry said: "At this moment in time it’s too early to say. A post-mortem will take place. The investigation’s in its very early stages. 

“Detectives are working closely with a number of different lines of enquiry. Our specialist family support officers are with the family at this moment in time.”

Asked whether weapons are believed to have been used, he said: "At this moment in time I’m not able to provide those further details. As you will appreciate, this is very much a live investigation.

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“It’s important I reassure the community and also that speculation. I’m aware of wider speculation regarding the use of weapons.

“At the moment, there’s no wider risk to the community in Sheffield.”

Asked about the condition of the surviving children, he said: "The four other children are currently in hospital and they are conscious.

"They're being given the necessary care and will be in hospital for certainly the next few hours."

He went on to confirm none of the children was believed to be in a life-threatening condition.

Asked whether the children had been poisoned, he said: "I unable to confirm that at this moment in time."

Asked when post-mortems would be carried out on the two boys, he said: "The post-mortems will take place later today."

Asked about the relationship of the children to each other and to the adults who have been arrested, he said: "I cant confirm more about the family at this moment in time. It would be unfair for me to comment on that. We are supporting the children as we speak."

Asked how police had been alerted, he said: "We received an independent call for assistance to come to this address.

"Police officers responded. As a result the tragic events I've mentioned unfolded for our officers.

"As you can appreciate, we're supporting some of our officers who had to respond."

Asked whether the children or adults were known to social services, he said: "Social services will be involved in our investigation going forward. It's really important that we work in partnership, as you can appreciate, in any circumstances."

Asked whether police had been called to the address before, he said: "I can't answer that at this moment in time."

Asked how long police were likely to remain at the scene, he said: "It will be as long as it takes to gather the evidence we need, bearing in mind the level of the investigation taking place. "We have two people in custody for murder.

"I expect the scene to be on for some time here. As a result of that I've asked for extra patrols in this area from our neighbourhood teams over the weekend just to reassure the community.

"I'm aware of some of the rumours that are spreading in the community.

"This is an isolated incident and there's no cause for alarm for other members of the community.”

Asked whether police were looking for anybody else in connection with the incident, he said: “At this moment in time, we’re not looking for anybody else.”

Asked whether either of the people who were arrested had sustained injuries, he said he was unable to comment at this time.