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04 March 2024

Boyfriend held over UK actress's murder

Arthur Simpson-Kent, boyfriend of former British soap actress Sian Blake, in Accra. (AFP)


The boyfriend of former British soap actress Sian Blake has been arrested in Ghana over the murder of her and their two young sons, and now faces extradition to the United Kingdom, police said Sunday.

Investigators tracked Arthur Simpson-Kent to undergrowth near the seaside town of Butre, where he was taken into custody Saturday in connection with the death of the former EastEnders actress and their two children Zachary, 8, and Amon, 4.

"We are waiting for the British authorities to send a formal request for the extradition to begin," Prosper Ablor, head of the Ghana Police Criminal Investigative Department, told a news conference.

Simpson-Kent, hands shackled behind his back, sat in a chair and stared at the ground as police spoke.

Blake and the children were last seen on December 13 in their south east London neighbourhood, and Simpson-Kent was questioned three days later over their disappearance.

The bodies of the boys and their mother were discovered earlier this month in the garden of their home.

Blake is best known for her mid-1990s role on EastEnders, which follows the lives of neighbours in a fictional borough of London.

Simpson-Kent flew to Ghana just days after he was questioned by investigators in Britain.

"While escaping from the United Kingdom, (Simpson-Kent) travelled to Glasgow in Scotland, from where he flew to Ghana via Amsterdam on December 19, 2015," police told reporters.

Authorities said "intelligence gathered on the ground" led them to Simpson-Kent, but did not elaborate. He was arrested after being "smoked from a thicket" and was armed with a knife.

Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn of London's Metropolitan Police told the press conference in Ghana: "Our thoughts continue to, and always remain with Sian's family and the boys.... We are here to get justice for them."

He added in a statement: "I would like to pass on my extreme thanks to the Ghanaian Police for their valuable assistance in this matter."