Friends of a murder victim have today revealed they ‘begged’ the mother-of-two to leave her ‘abusive’ partner before she was found dead in her home.
Eileen Barrott, 50, was found dead by emergency workers in her home in Leeds, West Yorkshire on Sunday.
The ‘devoted’ nurse had suffered ‘serious injuries’ and was declared dead at the scene in the quiet residential area of Naburn Fold, Whinmoor.
Today, a family friend claimed Eileen had been subjected to abuse in the relationship for more than 20 years.
The friend, who wished not to be named, said she tried ‘for years’ to convince Eileen to leave her husband but she never did.
The friend added: ‘It’s absolutely heartbreaking, but it’s been going on for years maybe 20 years.
‘She [Eileen] used to stay at my sister’s, and she used to tell her to leave him all of the time.
‘She was captive in that relationship, it’s horrendous to think this could happen. I’m still in shock.
Detectives are still appealing for information on her husband, Mark Barrott, 54, who was named a suspect and last spotted on CCTV leaving Leeds railway station at 1pm on Sunday.
Police officers have launched a hunt for husband Mark Barrott, 54, who travelled from Leeds to Scotland after his wife was found ‘murdered’ in her home (pictured)
Eileen’s husband, Mark Barrott, 54, who was named a suspect and spotted on CCTV leaving Leeds railway station at 1pm on Sunday
Detectives said they ‘urgently wanted to speak’ to Mark Barrott (pictured) and appealed for information to help trace him
The suspected murder victim was today named as Eileen Barrott, 50, after emergency services were called to a property in Leeds, West Yorks., at around 6.30pm last night. Pictured: Police and forensics teams at the scene on Monday
A spokesman said officers from West Yorkshire Police have been working with colleagues in Scotland after it was established that he had travelled to Edinburgh by train on Sunday.
West Yorkshire Police today officially named Barrott as a suspect in the killing and have urged witnesses to come forward.
Further enquiries have shown he subsequently caught a train to Aberdeen and was last sighted on CCTV in Huntly Street in the city centre at 9.16pm on Sunday.
Eileen was a staff nurse at St James’ University Hospital in Leeds for 19 years and worked ‘like crazy’ during the pandemic.
One neighbour, who did not wish to be named, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: ‘She was a nurse who worked like crazy through the last 18 months.
‘So, for this to happen is just so shocking.’
Eileen joined St James’ University Hospital in 1992, where she worked as a staff nurse across different departments.
A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘It is with great sadness that we have heard about the sudden and unexpected passing of Eileen Barrott.
‘She will be sadly missed by all her friends and colleagues across the trust.
‘This has been a shock to her colleagues and we’re doing all we can to support them at this difficult time.’
At least 10 emergency service vehicles rushed to the scene in Whinmoor with local residents revealing the heavy police presence was an unusual sight.
Forensic teams scoured the location, searching drains, mail boxes and looking under nearby parked cars as they hunted for clues.
One man explained: ‘It’s not like this area.
‘There are areas just down the round from here which have problems with drugs and gangs and that kind of stuff, but not here.
‘It’s really quiet. That’s why it’s such a shock.’
Eileen’s death is being treated as murder and an investigation is being led by West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team.
It is understood that Eileen and her husband Mark lived in Naburn View for more than two decades, and have two children together.
Detective Chief Inspector Vanessa Rolfe said: ‘We are continuing to carry out extensive enquiries to locate Mark Barrott as a suspect for his wife Eileen’s murder.
‘We are liaising closely with our colleagues from Police Scotland who have established the most recent sighting of Mr Barrott on CCTV in Aberdeen city centre on Sunday night.
‘We are keen to hear from anyone who has seen him since then or who has any information that could assist in tracing him.
‘We continue to advise anyone who does see him not to approach him but to contact police immediately on 999.
‘Eileen’s family have been left completely devastated at her death in these circumstances and we are doing everything we can to support them as we progress the investigation.’
Officers are also appealing to trace Barrott’s car – a silver Toyota Avensis (pictured above), registration FJ51 ZHB – which is still believed to be in Leeds
A woman, now known to be Eileen, was reported to have suffered ‘serious injuries’ and was declared dead at the scene on Sunday
Eileen’s death is being treated as murder and an investigation is being led by West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team
Officers are also appealing to trace Barrott’s car – a silver Toyota Avensis, registration FJ51 ZHB – which is still believed to be in Leeds.
A large police presence remained in the Whinmoor area of the city on Monday, where the woman was fatally injured.
Cross Gates and Whinmoor Cllr James Gibson said: ‘Following the shocking and distressing events in Whinmoor overnight, our thoughts go to the victim and her family.
‘This is a heartbreaking incident and it will affect the whole community.’
Anyone with information is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101 quoting Operation Pumacastle, reference 13210413554, or online via www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat