Woman, 34, charged with murder of company boss Sadie Hartley


A woman has been charged with the murder of a 60-year-old businesswoman, while detectives continue to question a second female suspect.

Sarah Williams of Blacon, Chester, is accused of killing Sadie Hartley, who was found stabbed to death at her home in Sunny Bank Road, Helmshore, Lancashire, on Friday evening.

The 34-year-old is due to appear at Blackburn Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

A post-mortem examination showed Ms Hartley, who ran a medical communications business, died from multiple stab wounds, according to Lancashire Police.

A spokesman said: "Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service we have today charged a woman with the murder of Sadie Hartley in Helmshore.

"Sarah Williams, 34, of Treborth Road, Blacon, Chester, is due to appear before Blackburn Magistrates' Court today charged with murder.

"A 55-year-old woman from Chester arrested on Monday, January 18th, on suspicion of murder remains in custody."

Ms Hartley, a mother-of-three, was the director of her own business, Hartley Taylor, based in Knutsford, Cheshire.

Detectives are continuing to appeal for help tracing several people seen near her home on Thursday evening, including the driver of a passing car.

A police spokesman said officers wanted to identify a person seen passing a man as he walked out of Sunny Bank Road on Thursday evening and an unknown person who walked into the cul-de-sac before leaving a few minutes later.

They also want to trace an "old-style" Renault Clio and its driver, which was seen arriving in Sunny Bank Road just before 8pm on the same night and drove off moments later.

The investigating team was also keen to hear from anyone with information about people asking for the location of Sunny Bank Road in the days or weeks leading up to the murder.

They said a man and a jogger seen on Sunny Bank Road had been identified as local residents.