A MURDER investigation has been launched after a man in his 80s was stabbed to death and a woman was critically injured in north Dorset.

Dorset Police were called at 7.30pm last night due to concern for the welfare of the occupants of an address in Higher Langham, near Gillingham.

Officers attended the address and found a man aged in his 80s and a woman aged in her 60s, both with serious injuries. It is believed both had suffered stab wounds.

The ambulance service also attended. The injured man was pronounced dead at the scene at around 9.15pm.

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The injured woman was airlifted to Southmead Hospital in Bristol, where she remains in a critical condition.

Their family has been informed and the coroner has been notified of the death.

A vehicle believed to be linked to the incident was located travelling eastbound on the A303. With support from colleagues at Wiltshire Police, Hampshire Constabulary, Thames Valley Police, Surrey Police and the Metropolitan Police, the vehicle was subsequently stopped in the Hammersmith area of London.

A 34-year-old man from the Gillingham area was arrested on suspicion of murder and was subsequently taken to hospital for treatment to injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

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The arrested man and the victims were known to each other.

The investigation into the incident is being led by detectives from Dorset Police's Major Crime Investigation Team.

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of MCIT, said: "Our thoughts are with the family of the man who sadly died and the injured woman at this extremely difficult time and they are being supported by specially-trained officers.

"We will be carrying out a full investigation to establish exactly what happened at the address in Higher Langham and I would appeal to anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area on the evening of Wednesday April 7 to please contact us.

"A cordon remains in place at the address and there will continue to be a heavy police presence in the vicinity as we carry out enquiries. Officers can be approached by members of the public with any information or concerns."

Anyone with information is asked to call Dorset Police on 101, quoting occurrence number 55210054816, or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.