Arson investigation launched into fire which killed horses at Leeds stables

George Murrell and his partner Judy Lee at the stables in Churwell
George Murrell and his partner Judy Lee at the stables in Churwell
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An arson investigation has been launched into a fire that killed two horses at stables in Leeds.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported last Saturday how the two-year-old animals lost their lives in a blaze at a yard in Hepworth Avenue, Churwell.

Diablo, one of the horses that died

Diablo, one of the horses that died

West Yorkshire Police and the county’s fire service have now confirmed they are treating the incident as suspicious.

Sgt Richard Abbott, of the Leeds outer south neighbourhood policing team (NPT) said: “Our investigation is at an early stage and I would welcome anyone who saw anyone or anything suspicious in the area to come forward as they may hold vital information in helping to identify those responsible.”

The horses – Arabian colts Diablo and Eric – belonged to George Murrell, 37, and his partner Judy Lee, 40.

Two other horses and two dogs escaped the May 16 blaze, which also claimed the lives of two ducks.

Fire service group manager Richard Veti, who was incident commander at the scene, said: “It is always very sad to see animals die as a result of a fire. We did everything we could to save them but unfortunately two of the horses had already perished.

“Fortunately the other two horses, along with the two dogs that were saved, were unharmed as a result of the fire.”

Mr Murrell said he and Miss Lee were in the process of trying to raise funds to rebuild the stables.

He added: “All we want is to find out who did this.

“It’s absolutely disgusting that anyone could be capable of such barbarity.

“We are still clueless about who could have done it – we have no enemies.”

Witnesses or anyone with information should contact the NPT via 101.

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