The 34 year-old man and 32 year-old woman arrested in connection with the murder of Irene Barrett have been eliminated from the enquiry and released from police custody with no further action.
88 year old Irene “Reeny” Barrett’s flat in a tower block adjacent to Charlton Athletic’s stadium was ransacked at the weekend.
Irene Barrett (pictured, above), was a retired secretary, great-grandmother and popular local figure. Police say it appears she had been severely beaten during a suspected burglary at her flat in Sam Bartram Close on Saturday morning.
A post-mortem examination held at Greenwich Mortuary on Sunday gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds.
The Metropolitan Police have opened a murder investigation and set up an incident room at Lewisham Police Station. Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons has appealed to anyone who knows anything about this incident to contact the police immediately, either at the incident room at Lewisham on 0208 721 4961 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
DCI Lyons said:
“This is a violent attack resulting in the death of an elderly lady in her own home. At this early stage we believe this is a burglary which has escalated into murder. I would appeal to anyone who knows anything about this incident to contact the police immediately.”
DCI Lyons added:
“Irene was a well liked and well known member of the community. She was an active member of the residents’ association. Her family are devastated at what has happened. Her flat was ransacked and some of her property was stolen, including jewellery and cash. This sort of crime is very unusual. We need the public to come forward to assist us.”
Listen below to a voice report from the scene of the crime recorded Monday 17 May by East London Lines reporter Katherine Godfrey.