Police stand guard next to Southsea shopping street after woman's body found

Picture: Sarah Standing
Picture: Sarah Standing
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People have told of their shock at the ‘heartbreaking’ discovery of a woman’s body on a rooftop that sparked a man’s arrest on suspicion of murder.

The gruesome find was made at around 10.50am this morning when she was spotted on a flat roof overlooking Tonbridge Street at the back of Palmerston Mansions in Southsea.

Picture: Sarah Standing

Picture: Sarah Standing

Hampshire police said a 53-year-old man, from Southsea, has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is in custody.

Uniformed police officers were today inside Palmerston Mansions, a block above maisonettes with balconies above shops in Palmerston Road, carrying out enquiries into the death.

Forensics officers installed a white tent on the lower roof of the building.

READ MORE: Murder arrest after woman’s body found in Southsea 

Two university students living in Palmerston Mansions have said the woman’s death was ‘heartbreaking’.

A 19-year-old, who is in his first year at the University of Portsmouth, said: ‘It’s a bit shocking, especially us just moving to uni - it’s terrible. 

‘Honestly it’s heartbreaking, it’s quite scary.’

His second-year student 18-year-old friend, who also asked not to be named and had returned home this morning, added: ‘I’m shocked, I’m glad they found someone quickly.

‘I didn’t notice for the first half an hour - I didn’t see anything and then a policewoman knocked on my door to see if we saw anything.’

Plain clothes detectives from the area's major crime unit were standing on the ground below the roof, where the body was found.

SEE ALSO: Police searching Portsmouth Harbour for missing woman Laura Smith 

Retired shop worker Holly Heasman, 49, who lives in Portland Terrace, was shocked arriving home at around 2.20pm to find police in Tonbridge Street, which runs parallel to, and between, Palmerston Road and Portland Road.

She said: ‘I’m shocked, it’s terrible.

‘She might have family, what about her family?’

She said she was concerned about living in the area.

‘They could murder me, they could murder anyone,’ she said.

Resident Jonathan Chubb, 59, said: ‘I saw a fire engine this morning and then saw the road cordoned off.

‘I can’t believe there’s been a murder. In all the 20 years I’ve lived here I’ve never known there to be a murder.

‘It’s terrible. It shouldn’t happen.’

Tonbridge Street has been shut off at its junction with Kent Road. The alleyway between Debenhams and New Look has been taped off.

Call 101 quoting crime reference number 44190330369 with any information.