NewsNorthern Ireland

Police appeal for information after 'suspicious' death of Newtownards woman

Northern IrelandBy Jamie McDowell
Joanne Thompson
Joanne Thompson

Detectives are appealing for information following the suspicious death of a woman in Newtownards.

33-year-old Joanne Thompson was found dead at her house in Old Mill Court in the town on Wednesday morning.

Detectives are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the mother-of-four's death, appealing for anyone who may have witnessed anything strange around her home over the Twelfth to come forward. 

Police have also asked for people who may have witnessed any kind of altercation at the Dakota Avenue bonfire in the Westwinds estate in the town on the Eleventh night to contact them.

Detective Inspector Chris Wilson said: “We are making enquiries into events leading up to Joanne being found and are making two specific appeals for help from the local community.

“The first is to people who attended a bonfire in the West Winds estate at Dakota Avenue on the Eleventh Night. We want to hear from anyone who witnessed any disturbance or altercation at the bonfire.

“The second appeal is to anyone who noticed any activity around Joanne’s home at Old Mill Court between 9pm on Tuesday 12 July and 11am on Wednesday 13 July.

“We are making a number of enquiries and studying the findings of a post mortem examination. I would ask anyone with information about Joanne to contact the incident room at Newtownards police station on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, people can use the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they want to provide information anonymously.”

Locals have described Ms Thompson, a trained hairdresser, as a kind and friendly member of the community.

There were reports of several fights and disturbances at the Dakota Avenue bonfire on the night.

During one altercation a 16-year-old was slashed with a knife across his torso, needing 11 staples to the wound.

                                                                                   The teen's uncle posted a photo of his wound to Facebook

The young lad's uncle took to social media to vent his disgust at the attack. 

His uncle posted: "Disgrace how a young fella can stand and talk to ya - half an hour later he's cut up.

"He could have died, what does it take to waken people up? Just look at this. A family day and night out and he's scarred for life."