"Disgust" over London Great Gran Stabbing

Friends of a great grandmother stabbed to death in her tower block flat have told of their "disgust" at the attack.

Irene Barrett, 88, was a pillar of the community who knitted blankets for local babies and pets, residents said.

Officers found Mrs Barrett, believed to be a retired secretary, at her flat in Charlton, south-east London, yesterday morning.

A 34-year-old man, believed to be living in the same block of flats, was arrested hours later on suspicion of murder, police sources said.

Fighting back tears, neighbour Claire Pickett, 30, said: "I just do not understand how anyone could do this. She was such a lovely lady. She used to knit blankets for premature babies and animals at Battersea Dogs Home. She even made a blanket for my baby when it was born. She was like a grandmother for all the young children here. A lot of her friends had died so she really was like the last one."

Ms Barrett was found with multiple stab wounds at her 15th floor flat in Valiant House, a high-rise block near Charlton Athletic football stadium. Forensic officers were scouring the scene throughout the day. The man arrested was being questioned at a south London police station, Scotland Yard said. A post-mortem examination will be held at Greenwich Mortuary later today.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the incident room at Lewisham on 020 8721 4961 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.