Man arrested after deaths at Bonnyrigg house

Janet Lockhart. Picture: Contributed
Janet Lockhart. Picture: Contributed
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A man has been arrested following the deaths of a mother and her two-year-old son.

The bodies of the 29-year-old woman and her two-year-old son were found at a house in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian, at about 8:30pm on Saturday after a concerned member of the public contacted police.

Officers went to the house in South Chesters Lane after a “family acquaintance” voiced concern.

Police Scotland said they had arrested a 32-year-old man who was being treated in hospital and that officers were not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.

Chief Inspector Colin Brown said: “This is a tragic set of circumstances and our thoughts are with the families who have been affected.

“We are grateful to the support we are receiving from the neighbours while we carry out our inquiries.”

The 32-year-old is expected to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court tomorrow.

Detectives have not revealed how the mother and son died or whether their bodies were found together in the house, in the town’s South Chesters Lane.

The woman and child were named locally as Janet Lockhart and her son Michael.

Nearby homes and the area surrounding the semi-detached two-storey property were cordoned off by police yesterday as a team of forensics experts were seen removing items from the house.

Neighbours described their shock at the tragedy, which took place in a new estate inhabited mainly by families with young children.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, described a “loud banging followed by piercing screams” when police arrived at the house on Saturday evening.

“The first thing we heard was a really loud bang, like a car hitting a wall, at around 8:30pm, followed by loads of screaming and crying.

“We thought it was just a drunk person in the street and thought nothing more of it. It wasn’t until this morning that we realised what had happened.

“The bang was the police kicking in the door, and the screaming was whoever identified the bodies. It must have been truly awful to see that.”

The neighbour added: “They seemed like such a normal family. They have been living here for as long as I have, which is about three years, and they were always really pleasant.

“He was a nice guy. Quiet, but friendly. When I first moved in he brought me a bottle of wine to say hello, and they would both always stop and chat.

“They’ve been married since I’ve lived here and were both always out in the garden doing things with Michael. He was such a happy little boy.

“We are all so shocked. Something has obviously happened inside and he’s run off. The

police had to go find him before they took him to hospital, so he definitely wasn’t in the house.

“Forensics are still combing the area looking for a weapon of sorts. It’s so horrific and completely shocking.”

Ally Craig, 38, who lives nearby with his wife and their four-year-old daughter and six-week-old son, said he had woken up to find the area a hive of police activity and said he felt “totally devastated” when details of the tragedy began to emerge.

“I opened the curtains and saw all the vans and police tape. Then I looked on Teletext and it said a woman and boy had been found dead.

“I’d seen the woman a couple of times taking shopping in from her car when I was coming back from work. We’ve been here for about seven to eight months and she was here before us. It’s all a new estate, all young families.”

Mr Craig, a retail manager, added: “These things can happen everywhere; it’s just the world we live in.”

Two women who lived on the estate arrived at the scene yesterday afternoon with flowers, which they gave to police officers to place near the house. They said they did not know the family, but wanted to do something to express how they felt.

Another neighbour, who did not want to give her name, said: “My boyfriend was out for a walk at about 8pm last night and he said he’d seen the police looking under cars and then searching in a burn near the house.”

Chief Inspector Colin Brown, said: “A 32-year-old man is currently receiving treatment in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and police are not looking for any other person in connection with this incident.

“The man is being treated as a patient; however there are police officers with him in hospital.

“This is a tragic set of circumstances and our thoughts are with the families who have been affected.

“We are keeping an open mind as to what occurred within this property, but I want to reassure members of the local community and neighbours that such incidents are relatively rare and a comprehensive investigation is under way.

“We are grateful for the support we are receiving from the neighbours.”