Detectives appeal for information in Derbyshire murder probe

Detectives investigating the murders of a man and a woman in Duffield are appealing for anyone who had contact with the suspect or victims in the days prior to the incident to come forward.

Helen Hancock (nee Almey), 39, from Duffield, and Martin Griffiths, 48, from Derby, were found at a property in New Zealand Lane, Duffield, following an incident in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Helen Hancock (nee Almey), 39, and Martin Griffiths, 48

Helen Hancock (nee Almey), 39, and Martin Griffiths, 48

Mrs Hancock and Mr Griffiths were found by officers with fatal stab wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene..

Rhys Hancock, 39, of Portland Street, Etwall, Derbyshire, appeared before Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, in Derby, on Friday, January 3, charged with both murders. 

Hancock, previously of New Zealand Lane, Duffield, confirmed his name and current address when he appeared before the court, but made no plea to the charges.

Dressed in a white shirt and dark suit, the father-of-three was told that his case was being adjourned to Derby Crown Court on Monday, January 6.

Defending, Kirsten Collings, made no application for bail and Hancock was remanded into custody until his next appearance.

The family of Mrs Hancock, from Duffield, described her as a "lovely, beautiful, friendly, bubbly and social person".

Mr Griffiths, a father-of-two from Derby, was said by his family to be "a lovely dad, husband, son, brother and uncle who had a passion for adventure, running and a love of animals".

The statement added: "He enjoyed travelling the world, mountain climbing and spending time with his two children. He will be greatly missed."

Following the hearing Hancock was remanded to prison and will appear at Derby Crown Court on Monday, 6 January.

Officers investigating the incident want speak to anyone who may have information that can help build a picture of the days leading up to the incident.

Detective Inspector Steve Shaw, said: “As with any investigation it is vital that a full picture of the incident is able to be established.

“That is why I am asking for anyone who may have had contact with Rhys Hancock, Helen Hancock or Martin Griffiths in the days prior to the incident to get in contact.

“In particular, we are interested to hear from anyone who spoke with Rhys Hancock on New Year’s Eve.

“If you believe you have information that may be able to assist in our enquiries then please do not hesitate to contact us using any of the methods below.”

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Derbyshire police with reference 20*000692.