Lancashire

Rosie Darbyshire death: Preston man charged with murder

Rosie Darbyshire Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Rosie Darbyshire's family said they were "utterly heartbroken"

A man has been charged with the "brutal" murder of a woman who died from serious head injuries.

The body of mother-of-one Rosie Darbyshire, who was 27 and from Ribbleton, was discovered by emergency services in Pope Lane, Preston at 02:00 GMT on Thursday.

Benjamin Topping, 25, of St George's Road, Preston was charged on Friday.

Lancashire Constabulary said they had referred the matter to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC).

Mr Topping was remanded in custody and will appear in Preston Magistrate's Court on Saturday morning.

'Devastated'

In a tribute, Ms Darbyshire's family said: "It doesn't seem real that our crazy, wig-wearing, talented, goofy Rosie won't be bursting through the door in song anymore.

"We are utterly heartbroken and don't doubt that this devastating news will be affecting so many more people than we could ever imagine."

Det Ch Insp Geoff Hurst said: "Firstly my thoughts are with Rosie's family who are understandably devastated.

"I have a team of people working on getting to the bottom of what happened to Rosie and would like to reiterate my appeal to anyone who may have seen or heard anything in the area at the time to get in touch as soon as possible as you could have vital information."

Previous contact

Ms Darbyshire's body was found close to the junction with Village Drive in the Ribbleton area.

A subsequent post-mortem examination revealed that she died as a result of serious head injuries.

In a statement, Lancashire Constabulary also said it had alerted IOPC "following some previous contact between Rosie and the Constabulary prior to her tragic death".

"This is standard practice in such circumstances. It would be inappropriate to go into further detail at this stage."

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