Inquests open into killings of man and woman at Bradford flat

CRIMESCENE: The flats in Sawrey Place, Little Horton, where the bodies of Helen Dawson and Ivor Spratek were found

CRIMESCENE: The flats in Sawrey Place, Little Horton, where the bodies of Helen Dawson and Ivor Spratek were found

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

INQUESTS have opened into the killings of a man and woman at a Bradford flat.

Helen Dawson, 48, of Cornwall Place, Manningham died from asphyxia and multiple stab wounds and 40-year-old Ivor Spratek of Sawrey Place, Little Horton, where the bodies were found, died after inhaling vomit due to a head injury he had received, the Bradford inquest was told today.

Police had been called to the address in Sawrey Place following reports of a man with serious injuries and while making further investigations there officers found the body of Miss Dawson.

Neighbourhood Policing Teams had conducted reassurance patrols while detectives had tried to get names for the victims and clarify the circumstances of the incident.

Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson told Assistant Bradford Coroner Roger Whittaker that a 37-year-old man had since been charged with two murders and had been remanded in custody as criminal proceedings continued at Bradford Crown Court.

Two sets of post-mortems examinations had been carried out, he said.

Bearded and bespectacled Austin Brayford, 37, who is accused of the murders, has previously appeared by prison video link at Bradford Crown Court for a ten-minute preliminary hearing.

The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Roger Thomas QC, told the defendant he would next appear in court on September 19 when he would have to tell the court whether he was guilty or not guilty.

The judge set a date of September 5 for a psychiatric report on the defendant to be provided and a trial has been listed, to last a week, on December 15.

The inquest heard how Miss Dawson had been identified by her daughter while Mr Spratek's sister had flown over from the Czech Republic to identify him.

Mr Whittaker formally released both bodies to allow funerals to take place and adjourned the inquests pending the outcome of court proceedings.

Miss Dawson will be buried and Mr Spratek will be cremated, the hearing was told.

Mr Whittaker asked Det Supt Atkinson: "I'm particularly concerned in the case of Ivor Spratek that once cremated we have no means of further inquiries. Are you satisfied there is no need?"

The detective replied: "I am sir."

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