A middle-aged woman was murdered and a 55-year-old man left fighting for his life in hospital with stab wounds after an horrific late night incident at a house in an up-market village.

The woman’s body was discovered by police who rushed to the £500,000 detached house following a 999 call at 11.30pm last night.

Inside they also found the severely injured 55-year-old man who was rushed to hospital having suffered multiple stab wounds to his body.

It is believed that the incident is being treated by the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Team as one case of murder and one of attempted suicide.

It is not thought anyone else is being sought in connection with the alleged murder.

A neighbour said the police investigation was focused on the home of a man whose wife died around 18 months ago.

He said: ‘He has a dog and goes on walks around the neighbourhood and says hello. He seems like a nice chap.

‘It’s a quiet area, you get a few burglaries like everywhere does but you don’t expect anything other than that.’

The smart-looking house in Ellis Road, Crowthorne, Berkshire, was sealed off today with police on guard outside.

Forensic science teams were expected to comb the dormer bungalow for clues to the killing. The house is only 750 yards from top security Broadmoor Hospital.

An ambulance and two fast response cars were sent to the house and the surviving man was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, where his condition was said to be critical.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: ‘We have launched a murder investigation in Crowthorne, Berkshire after police received a call shortly before 11.30pm yesterday reporting that a woman had died inside a property in Ellis Road.

‘A man aged in his mid-50s was found injured at the property and was taken to hospital with what are believed to be stab wounds where he remains in a critical condition.

‘Officers attended the property and a woman, aged in her early 50s, was found deceased inside the property. Her next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specially-trained officers.

‘A scene watch is currently in place in Ellis Road and officers will be conducting inquiries in the area as part of the investigation.’

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Ailsa Kent, from Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, said: ‘A murder investigation has begun following the discovery of a woman’s body in a house in Crowthorne.

‘Although we are in the early stages of conducting inquiries, this is thought to have been an isolated incident and it is believed the victim was known to the suspected alleged offender.

‘I would like to appeal for any witnesses who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in that area at around the time of the incident to contact us.

‘Officers will be present in the area of Ellis Road and anyone who has any information or concerns can approach an officer to speak to them.’

A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service said paramedics were called by police to attend the scene at 11.31am yesterday and an ambulance, a rapid response vehicle and an enhanced care response unit were sent.

‘We were instructed to meet police at a rendezvous point who had to assess the scene as safe before we were allowed in,’ the spokesman said.

‘We took one male to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.’