A FISH and chip shop owner died of serious injuries just hours after her brother’s funeral, friends said today.
The 50-year-old, who was named locally as Angela Smeaton, was pronounced dead at her home in Eddleston Walk, Hartlepool, in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday, April 15).
Police were called at 1am and found her at the house with serious injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene and her death is being treated as suspicious.
A 49-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder and was being questioned by police.
A post-mortem examination was taking place tonight (Tuesday) to determine the cause of death. There was speculation that she had been suffering from stab wounds, but police were unable to confirm this.
Neighbours said that Angela Smeaton owned nearly fish shop Ange’s Chippy, on Owton Manor Lane in Hartlepool and had a son in his 20s.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, told The Northern Echo: “They just buried her brother yesterday. The funeral cars came into the road to pick her up. It’s really sad.”
It is understood that Ms Smeaton’s brother, Martin, died recently following an illness.
Another neighbour described hearing “two lads arguing” in the street and screaming and shouting which had woken her up, before police cars arrived.
She said: “Angie had the time of day for anyone and was always a bundle of fun, always really cheerful and friendly. You never heard her complain.”
They said the street was a quiet, close-knit area and were shocked at what had happened.
Before buying her fish and chip shop they said Ms Smeaton worked at a fish and chip shop in the Brierton area of Hartlepool for about 15 years.
Police said inquiries were ongoing. Ms Smeaton’s home was taped off today with a police car parked outside while scenes of crime officers, dressed in white suits, carried out further investigations.