Royston man remanded in custody after being charged with attempted murder at Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey, Royston

Johnson Matthey, Royston - Credit: Daniel WQilspm

A 53-year-old man from Royston has been remanded in custody having been charged with attempted murder, attempted grievous bodily harm and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon after an incident at Johnson Matthey in Royston last Wednesday night.

Peter Duffy, of Elm Walk in Royston, was charged after an alleged violent attack at the chemical firm in Orchard Road, which left two men hospitalised.

Police were called shortly before 11pm on Wednesday and officers attended immediately.

They detained the suspect and cordoned off the area as part of the investigation.

A knife and an axe have also been recovered from the scene.

Both injured men were taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for treatment but have since been released, police confirmed.

A spokesman for Johnson Matthey said: “We can confirm that an incident took place on the Royston site on Wednesday evening last week and that this is now in the hands of the police.

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“Johnson Matthey is co-operating fully with the police. Because there is an on-going police investigation, the company is not able to make any further comment.”

Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident.

Mr Duffy appeared before Hatfield Remand Court on Friday and was remanded in custody. He is now due to appear at St Albans Crown Court on Friday, August 19.

An employee at Johnson Matthey, who did not wish to be named, has expressed his ‘sadness’ after hearing news of the incident at the chemical firm.

North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald said he was shocked to hear of incidents such as the alleged attempted murder at Johnson Matthey and the unrelated investigation into the murder of Royston woman Helen Bailey – whose partner Ian Stewart is due to appear in court on October 14 on three charges relating to the author’s death.

Sir Oliver, who lives in Royston, said: “These sorts of incidents are so rare in Royston, it is one of the safest parts of the country, with a very good record of public safety. We can be reassured that justice will take its course.

“I was so sad to hear about the death of Helen Bailey. I met her once and she seemed pleasant and we had a good chat. I have been in touch with police about it.

“Johnson Matthey is our biggest employer, and I’m sure a lot of people will be shocked to hear of the news of the incident there.”