A FACTORY worker died and another man was seriously injured when they were stabbed during a confrontation outside a pharmaceutical plant, colleagues have said.

West Yorkshire Police said a 53-year-old man, who has been named locally as Robert Wilson from Birstall and is understood to be a father-of-one, suffered fatal injuries when they were attacked by "several persons" in the grounds of the Thornton & Ross (T&R) works in the Linthwaite area of Huddersfield on Thursday evening.

COMPANY STATEMENT: We're 'shocked and saddened' after worker is killed in attack

Workers at the factory said the man who died was a member of staff who is understood to have been stabbed as he confronted a group of people on the site.

Four males aged 18, 18, 17, and 15 and a teenage girl aged 17 all remain in custody for questioning after being arrested in the aftermath of the assault

A post mortem will be conducted tomorrow to determine a cause of death, police said in an update this evening.

A 39-year-old man who suffered a serious injury in the same incident is believed to have tried to help the man who died.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

A member of staff at T&R, who asked not to be named, said: "It's been getting bad for a while round here with groups of youths. He was a lovely chap - we are all gutted."

A police spokesman said: "Police are appealing for witnesses following the launch of a murder investigation after two men were attacked in Huddersfield.

"The Homicide and Major Enquiry Team are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which took place at about 11.45pm on Thursday, January 16 outside a business on Manchester Road in Linthwaite.


"Officers were called to the location to a report that two men had been attacked outside the premises by several persons."

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Ridley said: “Detectives are continuing a number of enquiries into this extremely serious offence and we fully appreciate the concern it has and will continue to cause locally in Linthwaite and in nearby communities.

“We continue to hold four males and a female in custody and are also still conducting enquiries outside the Thornton Ross premises on Manchester Road.

“A full post mortem will be conducted to determine a cause of death for the victim and specialist officers are offering support to his family and to the other injured man involved.

“Our increased patrols will continue in the area and we continue to appeal for information.”

"Anyone who has information can contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on 101 referencing police crime number 13200028683.

Information can also be given in confidence to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

T&R is based at Linthwaite and manufactures a range of branded over-the-counter medicines, dermatological solutions and other healthcare and hygiene products, according to its website.

The MP for Colne Valley, Jason McCartney, said on Twitter: "I've been briefed by the police on the horrific incident in Linthwaite last night - 5 arrests have been made as part of the murder investigation - my thoughts are with the family, friends & colleagues of the victim."

Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman said: "I am deeply saddened to hear about the tragic murder in Linthwaite last night.

"My thoughts are with all those effected."

One local told the Telegraph & Argus: "There's a huge police presence in Linthwaite.

"They've cordoned off the Thornton and Ross factory and there's workers at the factory directing customers away.

"They've put a forensic tent up in the car park, round the back."

The factory is close to Linthwaite Cricket and Bowling Club.

Back in August, there was an outbreak of serious violence while a match was underway, when a gang of youths invaded the cricket pitch.

Linthwaite CC were hosting Kirkheaton at the time in a Drakes League fixture.

According to reports at the time, a group of around 12 yobs injured four cricket players, brandishing cricket stumps, two knives and a baseball bat.

One Kirkheaton cricketer suffered a broken leg.

The witness added: "This place isn't getting any better.

"People in Linthwaite seem a bit shocked by what's happened today. There's been some concern about the increase in anti-social behaviour in Linthwaite, especially after what happened at the cricket club over the summer, but something like this is such a major shock to the community."

Nearby residents have told of more and more police arriving at the scene last night and into the early hours of the morning. The police helicopter hovered above for some time while frantic searches took place on the ground.