Northern Ireland

Portstewart: Murder inquiry launched after Margaret Evans' death

Police at house where Margaret Evans was found dead
Image caption The body of Margaret Evans was found at her Portstewart home on Wednesday

Police have launched a murder inquiry following the death of a woman in Portstewart.

Margaret Evans, 69, was found beaten at her home in Knockancor Drive on Wednesday afternoon.

She was well-known in the town for running a hair salon, before stepping down in January.

A 32-year-old man arrested in connection with her death is still being questioned.

Det Ch Insp Una Jennings said the investigation was still at a "very early stage".

"A post mortem is due to take place to determine the cause of death," she said.

'Popular'

"Mrs Evans' husband has suffered a terrible loss, but is being supported by his family circle as well as a PSNI family liaison officer.

"I would like to appeal to anyone in the community who saw, spoke to or met with any member of the Evans family in recent days, or anyone with any information, to contact Coleraine police station or the major inquiry team at Maydown on the non-emergency number 101."

Local assembly member Claire Sugden said: "It's a very sad day for Portstewart.

"Madame Margo, as she was known in the town, was an institution here - until her retirement she ran a very successful business, which indeed still bears her name.

"Through that, she made many friends and became very popular"

Alliance Party councillor Barney Fitzpatrick said it was "a tragic set of circumstances".

"They are a much-respected family in the Portstewart area, and obviously the community are completely shocked in relation to this death," he said.