Woman charged with murder of businesswoman Sadie Hartley


A woman believed to have known the partner of a 60-year-old businesswoman who was stabbed to death has been charged with her murder.

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

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

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

According to the Daily Mail, her long-term partner Ian Johnston, 54, has been questioned by police but not as a suspect.

A post-mortem examination showed Ms Hartley 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 18 on suspicion of murder remains in custody."

Detectives are continuing to appeal for help tracing several people seen near Ms Hartley's 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 the driver of an "old-style" Renault Clio which was seen arriving in Sunny Bank Road just before 8pm on the same night and driving off moments later.

The investigating team is 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 the road had been identified as local residents.