A WOMAN found dead at a house in Stoke Prior following a suspected knife attack has been named locally as mother-of-two Melanie Clark.

Ms Clark, 44, was declared dead at a house in Cloverdale at 12.12am on Monday, January 1, and a man was arrested at the scene.

David Clark, 49, of Cloverdale, was charged with murder on January 2 and appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court the same morning.

A close friend of Ms Clark's – who neighbours say had two sons Sheldon, 22, and Slade, 19, and lived at the address with David - paid tribute to the mum.

Becky Richards, 26, who met Melanie working at a care home seven years ago, shortly after the she moved to the UK from South Africa, said: "She was a lovely person, so bright and bubbly.

“She'd light up the room.

“She just had such a fun demeanour about her and was so energetic all the time.

"If ever you were having a bad day, she would just lift you up.

"At times it could be quite tense in that job, but she would always lift that tension by cracking a joke and making you laugh. She was great in that sense.

"She was quirky and bold. On my 21st, she bought me a very embarrassing present, and made me open it in front of my parents. It was absolutely hilarious, everyone was on the floor laughing. That's the sort of person she was.”

Neighbours have expressed their shock at the incident.

Local resident Paul Cross, 60, said: "What has happened is extremely sad - it's not the sort of thing you expect round where we live."

One neighbour said the couple had lived at the house for around seven years.

"They kept themselves to themselves and I only knew them to say hello to," the woman said.

Inspector Jake Wright of West Mercia Police added: “I understand that this incident is concerning for local people.

“I'd like to reassure them that we will have extra officers in the area over the coming days and if anyone has any concerns they can speak to one of these officers.”