A West Midlands Police officer has been arrested on suspicion of helping her son who is accused of murdering his model ex-girlfriend in a frenzied knife attack.
The 49-year-old woman, a community-based officer in Birmingham, was detained on the day her son Ricardo Morrison appeared in court charged with the murder of Amy Leigh Barnes.
The 19-year-old part-time model and actress was stabbed to death on Saturday at her home in Bolton, Greater Manchester.
Morrison (21), an amateur footballer with aspirations to play professionally and who worked as a coach, was remanded in custody when he yesterday appeared at Bolton Magistrates’ Court accused of the killing.
Hours later, the case took a dramatic twist when police sources confirmed his mother had been arrested.
Greater Manchester Police said the woman was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and would be questioned by officers.
A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: “We can confirm the woman is a serving police officer in the West Midlands.”
The woman’s partner said: “The police are talking to her. She is helping them with the investigation.”
He said he thought she was being held at a station in Birmingham and added a number of items had been taken from the family home for examination.
Morrison, originally from Birmingham but currently of no fixed address, appeared in court dressed in a blue sweatshirt. He nodded when asked to confirm his name and date of birth during the brief hearing.
Laraine Mason, prosecuting, told magistrates: “The defendant is before you charged with murder, the murder of his former girlfriend. The defendant appears before you in custody and the charge is indictable only.”
Jan Azakli, chairman of the bench, told the defendant: “This case is going to be adjourned until November 19 at Manchester Crown Court.”
Amy died in hospital after suffering stab wounds to her face and chest at her home in the Farnworth area of Bolton on Saturday lunchtime.
The teenager, who was a friend of West Bromwich Albion striker Ishmael Miller and a former girlfriend of Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy, had modelled for Cosmopolitan and Nuts magazines and had appeared in Channel 4 teen soap Hollyoaks.
The teenager’s modelling and acting career was taking off at the time of her death.
In just over a year on the books of a Manchester modelling agency, she made more than 20 appearances as an extra on Hollyoaks and made it to the final of Miss British Isles.
She worked at an office supplies company as an administrator when not modelling. Her heartbroken family issued a statement describing her as their “beautiful princess”.
Morrison was arrested in south Birmingham on Saturday night and taken back to Manchester for questioning before being charged on Tuesday night.
Two years ago, he worked as an assistant coach at the Birmingham’s Brazilian Soccer School, part of a network of academies teaching footballing skills to youngsters.
Ian Lowndes, who had recently taken over the BSS, said he did not know Morrison and added that he was no longer involved in the organisation.