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Haworth man held on suspicion of killing his wife
A pensioner, whose husband has been arrested on suspicion of her murder, might have been suffering from a hidden illness, friends said last night.
Eileen Callaghan, 76, was found dead at her and her husband Clem’s house in Ivy Bank Lane, Haworth , the day after Mr Callaghan was discovered unconscious at the wheel of his car following an apparent suicide attempt.
Eighty-year-old Mr Callaghan, a member of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and a well-known village stalwart, has been arrested on suspicion of killing her.
Last night he remained in a “serious but stable” condition in hospital after he was found in Keighley Road, Colne, Lancashire, on Saturday night.
Haworth villagers yesterday spoke of their shock after police found Mrs Callaghan’s body on Sunday.
Alan Watts, a parish councillor who lives nearby, said: “It is such a tragedy. I was speaking to someone who said she hadn’t been right well for the past week or two and, whether she had become worse, I don’t know.
“She might have been really poorly and didn’t want to tell anyone,” he said.
Steve Thorpe, a gardener, worked with Mr Callaghan on a project to plant flowers and put fencing around the war memorial.
He said: “I have known him all my life because his wife was born on the same day as my mum, so they grew up together and always knew each other.
“They were not the kind of couple that fell out. They were just a lovely old couple.
“I don’t know whether she was ill but I can’t think of any other reason this might have happened.”
Mr Thorpe described Mr Callaghan as a village character, who loved his wife and their three collie dogs.
Mr Callaghan and his friends are nicknamed the Last of the Summer Wine group – after the long-running sit-com – because they meet to chat outside the Haworth Spar shop in Station Road every day, half an hour before it opens.
The couple also took other elderly people away on day trips to the Lake District and elsewhere.
Mr Thorpe said: “Clem goes with a sweeping brush every morning to sweep the memorial. He used to take real pride in it and when Haworth entered Yorkshire In Bloom he came to meet the judges.
“He’s a really firm believer in keeping the cenotaph clean and respecting the soldiers with wreaths and poppies. He’s the sort of person you really want in the village.”
Haworth parish council vice-chairman, Councillor Peter Hill , said: “You never heard a bad word said about him.
“They both used to help out in the village in any way they could.”
The Reverend Peter Mayo-Smith yesterday spoke of the village’s grief as news of the tragedy spread.
“Everybody in the village is absolutely shocked by what has happened,” he said.
Bradford Councillor Glen Miller , the Conservative councillor for the Worth Valley, added: “It is very sad. I feel for their family and my condolences go to them.”
Mr Callaghan remained in hospital last night as murder squad detectives continued their investigations.
A post-mortem examination has taken place but the cause of his wife’s death has still to be established, a police spokesman said.
Anyone with any information which could help detectives in their enquiries should contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555111.