Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 12:52 UK

Women aid lorry strangling probe

Darren Walker
Darren Walker was in a long-term relationship with Stacey's mother

Former partners of a lorry driver suspected of killing a nine-year-old girl have given information to police.

Northamptonshire Police said they also had a statement from a woman who claims Darren Walker, 40, made a sexual approach to her when she was 15.

Stacey Lawrence, of West Bromwich in the West Midlands, was found strangled in a lorry off the A605 at Warmington on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Walker, her mother's boyfriend, was found hanged in woods nearby.

Police believe some "sexual touching" of Stacey may have taken place.

Domestic violence

Det Ch Insp Tricia Kirk said several women who had been in a relationship with Mr Walker had responded to an appeal made by police and were now helping them with their inquiries.

She said the general picture emerging was that of Mr Walker as a family man with "one or two" incidents or episodes of domestic violence.

Stacey Lawrence
Stacey Lawrence travelled with Darren Walker in his lorry

"I have already said there is no evidence to suggest that Stacey was subjected to a serious sexual assault before she died but I believe some sexual touching did take place," she added.

"I am still waiting for the results of forensic tests which I hope will help me establish a fuller picture of what took place on Friday evening."

Mr Walker worked as a lorry driver for wholesale distribution firm AF Blakemore and Son, which delivers goods to Spar shops across the Midlands from a depot in Willenhall, West Midlands.

Stacey had accompanied him on a trip to make deliveries in East Anglia.

The vehicle left the depot in the early hours of Friday and headed for Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.

After making deliveries to Spar stores in the county, it was returning to the West Midlands when it stopped just outside Peterborough at about 1500 BST.

It arrived in the lay-by in nearby Warmington shortly after 1535 BST.



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SEE ALSO
Sex assault link to girl's death
01 Sep 09 |  England
Girl 'killed by mother's partner'
31 Aug 09 |  England
Girl found strangled in lorry
31 Aug 09 |  Northamptonshire

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