Jane Wheatley (34) and Gary Gardiner (46) were both found stabbed to death at her home in Sheffield on 5 November (Guy Fawkes night). Police were called to a disturbance at the house and made the discovery, arresting 51yo David Mirfin at the scene. Ms Wheatley has a three year old son (unconfirmed, but reported he was in the home at the time).
It appears that Ms Wheatley had separated from her partner (probably Mirfin) about a year before, and had since started a relationship with Mr Gardiner. There had been frequent disturbances at the premises involving the three of them. It is unknown if Mirfin is the father of the three year old boy.
The Daily Mail (06 Nov 2007):
Man arrested in double murder probe as couple found dead at home
By Chris Brooke
The mother of a three-year-old boy and her boyfriend were found murdered on Bonfire Night in her suburban terraced home.
Police were alerted by a 999 call from the house which was cut off part way through and officers sent to investigate made the gruesome discovery.
Several hours later, during the early hours of yesterday morning, police arrested a 51-year-old man near the scene of the double murder.
He is believed to have been known to both victims and was being questioned on suspicion of murder.
The dead woman named locally as Jane Wheatley, 34, combined looking after her toddler with running a photographic business from the house in Wath Road, Sheffield. She was found in a ground floor room alongside a 46-year-old man.
It is not known if the child was in the house at the time of the murder or staying elsewhere.
Police have refused to reveal the cause of death or identify the people involved, but they are thought to have been stabbed.
According to neighbours she had a complicated private life and frequently had heated domestic rows involving two men.
A friend of Miss Wheatley’s said: “She split up with her partner a year ago. He moved out and she then started a new relationship with a man called Gary.”
Neighbours heard a row earlier on Monday evening and police received the abandoned 999 call at 10.30 pm.
One neighbour said: “I heard a lot of noise about 8.30pm. A man was outside the house in the street shouting “I’m going to kill you.”
“They were always in the garden arguing. Sometimes they would wake you up in the night. There were nearly always three of them involved.”
Another resident said: “They were rowing a lot over the last month. I could hear swear words and a man telling a woman to leave.
“I would see three adults in the garden. They used to hold late-night parties and drink. It is quite shocking. At first I thought someone must have called the police over their arguments.”
Miss Wheatley’s father Richard, 63, a retired director of an engineering comoany, was too upset to speak at his luxury home three miles away which he shares with his wife Ann, 65. They have two other daughters Suzanne, 31, and Caroline, 28.
The dead woman is believed to look after her boy during the week and often stayed with his father, who also lives in Sheffield, at weekends.
She was a talented photographer and sold her work and other artistic photographs on an internet site.
Derbyshire Times (08 Nov 2007):
Couple dead in house ‘were stabbed’
A couple found dead at a house earlier this week had both suffered multiple stab wounds, police said.
Detectives investigating the double murder named the victims as 46-year-old Gary Philip Gardiner and 34-year-old Jane Elizabeth Ann Wheatley.
A 51-year-old man continues to be questioned over the deaths after officers were given extra time to detain him.
Police discovered the bodies in a ground-floor room of a terraced home in Wath Road, in the Nether Edge area of Sheffield, shortly after 10.30pm on Monday following a 999 call from the property.
South Yorkshire Police said both victims lived in Wath Road but at separate addresses.
A local man was later arrested on suspicion of murder and police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
A force spokeswoman said on Thursday: “A post-mortem examination showed both victims died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
“A man is still in custody on a Superintendent’s extension.”
Neighbours living in the area said the dead couple were believed to have been boyfriend and girlfriend.
They revealed that the man was a student artist and the woman had a three-year-old son with her ex-partner. The toddler was believed to have been in the property when his mother was killed, but was said to be unharmed.
The BBC (10 Nov 2007):
Double killing suspect in court
A man has appeared in court charged with murdering a couple who were found stabbed to death in a house.
The bodies of Gary Gardiner, 46, and Jane Wheatley, 34, were found on Monday on the ground floor of a terraced house in Wath Road, Nether Edge, Sheffield.
Post-mortem tests showed the pair died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
David Mirfin, 51, of Atlantic Drive, Lowedges, Sheffield, appeared before the city’s magistrates on Saturday and was remanded in custody.
He is due to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on 16 November.
South Yorkshire Police said both victims lived in Wath Road but at separate addresses. They are believed to have been boyfriend and girlfriend.