James Allen arrested over double murder

Julie Davison and Colin Dunford
Image caption Julie Davison and Colin Dunford both died from head injuries

A man being hunted by police after he was suspected of killing two people in their own homes has been arrested.

James Allen, 36, was arrested in south Leeds at 07:20 BST and is being held on suspicion of murder.

Colin Dunford, 81, was found dead in Middlesbrough on Monday and the body of Julie Davison, 50, was found in Whitby on Wednesday.

Cleveland Police and North Yorkshire Police had issued an urgent appeal to find Mr Allen following the killings.

Mr Allen was arrested on his birthday after an off-duty officer saw a man fitting his description.

'Thank the community'

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "An off-duty officer travelling to work this morning saw a man fitting the description of James Allen on Crown Point Road in Leeds.

"They called for colleagues in support who arrived quickly and an arrest was made.

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Media captionJames Allen was arrested in south Leeds

"We would like to thank all members of the community who have been contacting us to assist in this matter."

Mr Dunford, who was last seen alive at around 17:00 BST on Sunday, had suffered serious head injuries as a result of a significant assault according to a post-mortem examination.

He was found dead at his terrace house in Leven Street, Middlesbrough, on Monday.

Detectives said there was no sign of forced entry at the house.

Ms Davison, who lived alone, was found dead by her sister at her rented flat in Church Square, in Whitby, on Wednesday.

She had also suffered serious head injuries, police said.

Mr Allen, who is originally from Blackpool, is believed to have known Mr Dunford when he lived next door to him in Leven Street about a year ago but is not thought to have known Ms Davison.

Police linked the two deaths on Thursday and, after sightings of the suspect were reported in Leeds on Friday, three forces joined the search, with more than 100 detectives working on the case.

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