Scottish Daily Mail

Horror at dawn as lovers are stabbed to death in street

- By Ben Wilkinson and Neil Sears

A YOUNG fashion graduate and her boyfriend were left in a pool of blood on a high street after being stabbed to death early yesterday morning. Zoe Morgan, 21, and Lee Simmons, 34,were killed at dawn after finishing their nightshift­s at Matalan in Cardiff.

Murder detectives were last night questionin­g hotel worker Andrew Saunders. It is believed he was known to the victims.

The horror unfolded shortly before 6am on Queen Street – the Welsh capital’s main shopping area – when the couple were set upon as they left the clothing and homeware store.

Saunders, 20, was arrested an hour after the double murder at his family’s farmhouse outside the city where he lives with his showjumper mother, sister and grandmothe­r.

The murdered couple only began dating in July after Miss Morgan joined the shop as a window dresser in June.

Mr Simmons – who lived in the city with his widowed mother – had worked at the store since it opened in 2014, and dubbed his new

‘Found by Boots in a pool of blood’

girlfriend ‘my Tinkerbell’. A colleague of the couple at Matalan said: ‘This is a terrible tragedy. They had only started seeing each other and made a lovely couple.

‘We are all in bits and no one could face opening the store today.’

The bloodstain­ed street was cordoned off by officers yesterday, with dozens of businesses forced to close and hundreds of office workers sent home.

One worker said: ‘One of the victims was found outside Boots in a pool of blood – the other was just over the other side of the road outside Matalan.’

Miss Morgan graduated from the University of South Wales with a degree in fashion marketing and retail design this summer. The young woman, who had recently become an aunt, lived with her parents Mark, 49, and Julie, 48, in the Llandaff North suburb of Cardiff.

Her family, including brother Nathan 23, were yesterday being comforted by police liaison officers.

A neighbour said: ‘She had her whole life in front of her – she was full of fun. Her parents will be in a terrible state because they doted on her.’

Another added: ‘She was so excited about starting work and everything was going so well for her. Zoe went off to work as normal but never came home. She was a beautiful girl and this is terrible.’ Meanwhile, Saunders’ neighbours in Castleton, Newport, described how police cars with sirens sounding arrived yesterday morning and took him away in a van before taking his car and searching the property.

One neighbour said: ‘The first I knew there were seven police cars in our lane – and then a riot van with a cage on the front turned up.’

The suspect’s family were described as ‘animal lovers’ who tour the country to take part in showjumpin­g events where mum Karen, 55, and sister Anna, 19, compete.

A neighbour said: ‘Karen is a single mum and the house used to be a working farm that her father inherited. It is now a residentia­l dwelling. The family mainly keep themselves to themselves but they are very fussy if someone trespasses on to their land.’

Chief Superinten­dent Belinda Davies said police were not looking for anyone else in connection with the murders.

She added: ‘We believe the suspect was known to the victims and it was not a random assault.’

Matalan chief executive Jason Hargreaves said: ‘Both of the victims worked at our Cardiff branch so understand­ably all of our colleagues are receiving our full support. We extend our condolence­s to the families of everyone involved.’

 ??  ?? Victims: Lee Simmons and Zoe Morgan were killed as they left work
Victims: Lee Simmons and Zoe Morgan were killed as they left work
 ??  ?? Murder suspect: Andrew Saunders
Murder suspect: Andrew Saunders
 ??  ?? Crime scene: Cardiff’s Matalan store
Crime scene: Cardiff’s Matalan store

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