knife attack  | 

Police granted extra 36 hours to question Alyson Nelson murder suspect

Police are also investigating reports of an altercation in a bar earlier in the evening

Alyson Nelson

Ralph Hewitt

Detectives investigating the murder of Alyson Nelson in Antrim have been granted a court extension for an additional 36 hours to question a man arrested in connection with her death.

Ms Nelson (64) was stabbed to death in the Co Antrim coastal town of Whitehead on Saturday evening.

Emergency services were called to a property in the Victoria Avenue area at around 6.10pm.

Despite frantic efforts to save the former nurse she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man arrested, who is in his 60s, is believed to be known to Ms Nelson.

A spokesperson for the PSNI said the man remained in police custody on Monday and extended their appeal for information.

“As part of our investigation, we would appeal to anyone who was in the area of Victoria Avenue, Edward Road, Balmoral Avenue, Kings Road or Islandmagee Road on Saturday between 5pm and 7pm and has dash-cam footage, or who has premises in that area with CCTV to contact us on 101 quoting reference number 1502 of 16/04/22,” said the PSNI.

Police are also investigating reports of an altercation in a bar in the town prior to the knife attack on Ms Nelson who lived alone.

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Ms Nelson’s neighbour Maeve Taylor said she was a “lovely lady”.

“She walked her dogs and everybody knew her from around the town,” Ms Taylor told BBC Radio Ulster.

“She would be out and about and was always very friendly, very chatty and she’ll be very, very badly missed.”

More than a dozen women have been murdered in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic.

John Stewart, the Ulster Unionist candidate for the area said the murder was “shocking and tragic”.

His party leader Doug Beattie described the death as “such awful news for Easter Sunday”.

Alliance East Antrim Assembly candidate Stewart Dickson added that it was “just heartbreaking”.

Rev Stephen Woods of Whitehead Methodist Church said while he didn’t know Ms Nelson personally that the thoughts of his entire congregation were with her loved ones.

SDLP East Antrim Assembly candidate Siobhán McAlister said the seaside village was in shock following the incident.

Alliance Party councillor Sian Mulholland added her “heart was sore” for Ms Nelson’s friends and family.

For those who may have information they feel is important to the PSNI’s investigation, reports can also be made online using the non-emergency reporting form via

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

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