Suspected murder victims in contact with police days before tragedy – watchdog

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The victims of a suspected double murder in Huddersfield both had contact with officers in the days before their deaths, the police watchdog has confirmed.

West Yorkshire Police are continuing to hold a 34-year-old Huddersfield man in custody on suspicion of the murder of Katie Higton, 27, and Steven Harnett, 25, who died at Ms Higton’s house on Harpe Inge, Dalton, on Monday.

On Wednesday, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said they had received a mandatory referral and were still assessing the situation.

Huddersfield incident
Flowers left at the scene on Harpe Inge, Huddersfield, near the house where a woman and a man died (Katie Dickinson/PA)

“This is due to the fact officers had contact with both victims, and a man who has since been arrested on suspicion of murder, in the days prior to this tragic incident.

“We will now assess the available information to determine what further action may be required.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by these events.”

West Yorkshire Police said officers were called to the address at 9.53am on Monday after paramedics found two people with multiple injuries believed to have been inflicted by a bladed weapon.

Steven Harnett
Steven Harnett (West Yorkshire Police/PA)

On Tuesday, the former brother- and sister-in-law of Ms Higton paid tribute to her as “the best mum” and said the family was “absolutely devastated” as they placed flowers on behalf of her two eldest children at the scene.

Her former brother-in-law, who asked not to be named, said his brother had been in a relationship with mother-of-four Ms Higton for seven years and was the father of her two oldest children, daughters aged nine and 10.

He told the PA news agency the children “were in the property when the incident took place”.

Huddersfield incident
Police officers stand by a cordon on Harpe Inge, Huddersfield, near a property where paramedics found a man and woman with multiple injuries on Monday (Katie Dickinson/PA)

Several active inquiries by the West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major inquiry team remain ongoing.

A card left with flowers at the scene said: “RIP my darling. We love you. No more suffering.”

Another said: “I am so sorry for how things have ended.”

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