SHELL-SHOCKED residents are still struggling to come to terms with a double death tragedy that has rocked their community.

Neighbours in Sealand have been coming to terms with their village being catapulted into the spotlight following the deaths of Paul and Jean Laithwaite at their Deeside Lane home.

Sealand councillor Christine Jones told the Leader: “No one had ever heard of Sealand then all of a sudden we are the attention of the world.  I think everyone is finding it quite difficult to cope with because we are just not used to it.

“We have never had so much attention before. We are just a quiet village and this has been really horrible.

“I’m here to look after my community, but I’m not used to handling this kind of tragedy.

“You always think this kind of thing happens in someone else’s area, not on your own doorstep.”

The bodies of Mr and Mrs Laithwaite were found at their home on Sunday evening.
A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Laithwaite, 64, died of a gunshot wound to the head while further tests are being carried out on 65-year-old Mrs Laithwaite’s body. Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with their deaths.

Cllr Jones said everyone’s thoughts were with the couple’s family and their three sons Marcus, Quentin and Jeremy.

She added: “We just really feel for the family and what they are going through. They must be devastated.

“To lose your parents normally is bad enough, but to lose them in such tragic circumstances is soul destroying.”

Mrs Laithwaite’s close friend Chris Talbot has paid tribute to her friend of more than 30 years.

She said: “She was a beautiful lady and I’m going to miss her very much.”