British man arrested after murder in Italy of English grandmother

Whitbread and Dawn

 CHIETI – Police in Britain arrested a retired management consultant, Michael Whitbread, 74, after his English partner, Michele Faiers Dawn, was found stabbed to death in the bedroom at their cottage in a remote area of the rugged Abruzzi mountains near Chieti, police said,

 Leicestershire Police said a 74-year-old man was detained in Shepshed on Wednesday and remained under arrest. Officers said the arrest was related to the death of Ms Faiers.

 Leicestershire Police said that the East Midlands Special Operations Unit were in touch with Italian police and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCO).

 Whitbread apparently went on the run driving a white Compass jeep and made his way to the UK before the discovery Wednesday of the body of Michele, aged 66, a grandmother by a previous marriage, at their home on the outskirts of the village of Casoli. Pathologists said the woman had been stabbed four or five days before her death was noticed.

 A British woman friend living in nearby Palombaro alerted police after Michele failed to answer the telephone and she went around to the cottage, found the door open and discovered the woman lying in a pool of blood.

 Some 100 British and American expatriates live in the area. Whitbread was described as the main suspect in what was apparently a crime of passion carried out on impulse with a kitchen knife, police said.

 Italian neighbours described the couple as reserved and said neither spoke Italian.