Bushey attack: Friends of victims 'together in grief' – as police search home in Enfield

11 July 2024, 08:17 | Updated: 11 July 2024, 18:45

Friends of the mother killed alongside two of her daughters in Bushey have said they are "together in grief".

Carol Hunt, 61, died alongside her daughters Louise, 25, and Hannah, 28, following an attack at their home in Hertfordshire on Tuesday evening.

Friends and neighbours attended a memorial service in Bushey this morning, with Mrs Hunt's friends Lea Holloway, Dionne Smith, and Abigail Phillips saying they were "together in grief".

Ms Holloway, who was there when Carol met her husband John, told reporters: "She was a lovely, lovely person. We can't believe what happened. We were a four, and now there's only three. It doesn't seem real."

She added her sympathy for the Hunts' surviving daughter and Mrs Hunt's husband John, who is a Sky Sports Racing commentator.

"I can't imagine what it would be like," she said. "They were making their way through life and their lives have been taken too soon. It's the thing of nightmares."

Jockeys wore black armbands as a mark of sympathy and there was a minute's silence at Newmarket racecourse for Mr Hunt on Thursday afternoon.

Police are carrying out further searches of a house in Enfield as murder suspect Kyle Clifford remains in hospital.

He was found injured in Lavender Hill Cemetery in Enfield, north London, late on Wednesday and was taken to the Royal London Hospital for treatment.

Police did not say how his injuries occurred but stressed they had not fired any shots. They said he is yet to be arrested.

Members of police staff were seen wearing gloves and face masks outside the property they are searching in Rendlesham Road, Enfield, on Thursday morning.

Clifford was the focus of a manhunt after police and paramedics rushed to the family home near Watford to find the three women fatally injured at around 7pm on Tuesday.

Hertfordshire Constabulary have said they were attacked with a crossbow and possibly other weapons.

Friend in 'complete shock'

Rohit Mitra knew Louise Hunt from school, went to the same gym as her, and told Sky News he only saw her a few days ago.

"She honestly was one of the loveliest people, one of the loveliest girls I knew. She always had a smile and was very positive and hardworking. Genuinely a really, really sweet person," he said.

"I can't imagine how someone could come to commit such an act, and do this to a family. I'm in complete shock to be honest."

Colleagues of Hannah Hunt paid tribute to the "fantastic therapist" in a post on Facebook on Thursday, saying it was with "deep regret and sadness" that The Anti-Ageing Clinic based in Radlett, Hertfordshire, learned of the "horrific murder on Tuesday night.

The college the women attended in St Albans paid tribute to them on X, writing: "Today we are mourning the loss of two of our ex-students, Hannah & Louise, along with their mother, Carol.

"We extend our thoughts & prayers to the family during this most difficult time. As a Loreto Community, they will always hold a place in our heart. May they rest in peace."

'Loveliest, gentlest family'

One of their neighbours, Su Kehinde, 60, said as she laid flowers near the police cordon on Thursday: "They were the loveliest, gentlest family.

"They were the meekest human beings. They did not deserve this. They were beautiful souls."

Her daughter April, 32, knew Hannah and added that she "always had a smile".

Read more:
Suspect Kyle Clifford receiving medical treatment
What we know about Bushey victims

Luisa, a friend of Louise, also used her dog grooming business and said she would often send me pictures of my dog asleep during grooming"… "that's how much of a wonderful, relaxing person Louise was".

Another of Louise's friends told the BBC: "I knew Louise back from school days and she was really sweet, very kind, always a positive person.

"I can't think of anything bad to say about her - a really lovely person all round, a super hardworking person. It's been a massive shock."

A note left on a bunch of flowers at the police cordon in Bushey read: "Hannah, Louise and Carol.

"I wish none of this was real. I wish I could hug you all, tell you how much you meant to me. I wish you could hug each other. Love you forever. Mol xxxx."

Glyn Nicholas, 77, also lives in Ashlyn Close, and described them as a "private family, all very nice".

"Louise started a business a couple of years ago, and it was a thriving business - we all took our dogs there to be groomed," he added.

'I feel for him so deeply'

Mrs Hunt's husband John works for Sky Sports Racing and BBC Racing.

Speaking to Sky News on Thursday morning, TalkSport commentator Rupert Bell, who has known Mr Hunt for 30 years, said he started his working life as a policeman - but Mrs Hunt encouraged him to "follow his dream" of working in sport.

He described him as a "genuine, loyal human being... loved by all and sundry".

"It breaks all of our hearts," he said. "I feel for him so deeply."

In a statement, Sky Sports Racing said: "Everyone at Sky Sports Racing is deeply saddened by the tragic deaths in Hertfordshire and our thoughts are with our colleague John Hunt, his family and friends at this awful time."

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Mark Chapman sent his "love and thoughts" to fellow commentator and friend John Hunt after a "heartbreaking day" on Wednesday.

Speaking through tears at the start of the Euro 2024 pre-match show on 5 Live, Mr Chapman said: "John Hunt is our colleague and our friend, not just to the current 5 Live Sport team but to all of those who have worked here with him over the past 20 years and also to all of you who have enjoyed his superb commentaries.

"On behalf of everybody connected to 5 Live Sport, our love and thoughts and support are with John and his family."