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A man has been charged with the murders of two elderly woman in Southport.

Andrew Flood, 43, is accused of killing Margaret Biddolph, 78, and Annie Leyland, 88, who were found dead in their homes in Southport, Merseyside.

Flood, of Clifton Road, Southport, will appear at South Sefton magistrates' court.

Post-mortem examinations revealed that both Biddolph, from Lonsdale Road, and Leyland, from Birch Street, died of asphyxiation.

Flood is also charged with robbery in connection with an incident last weekend in Janes Brook Road, Southport.

The families of both victims issued statements through Merseyside Police.

Leyland's son, Philip, said: "Firstly, I am co-operating with the police to help them carry out their duty and I would appeal to anyone with information to come forward.

"Secondly, I ask to be left alone to grieve quietly and to come to terms with what has happened."

Alex Biddolph and Anne Pearson, the son and daughter of Biddolph, said: "We as a family would like to thank the members of the public who have assisted the police with their inquiries.

"We would also urge anyone with any information that could help the police with their investigation to get in touch."