A man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of an 86-year-old spinster who was sexually assaulted, then stabbed before being strangled to death in Bradford more than twenty years ago.

West Yorkshire Police say that they have arrested a 69-year-old in connection with the death of Amy Shepherd who was stabbed and strangled in August 1994.

The brutal sex attack took place at the spinster's home in sheltered housing in the Wibsey area of Bradford.

A post mortem revealed that she had been strangled by a ligature, stabbed with a six-inch kitchen knife - that was recovered from the scene - and sexually assaulted.

The frail woman was left to die in her accommodation and police believed at the time that a small amount of cash was missing from her purse.

Officers said in 1994 that there was no sign of a struggle and she may have known her killer or was somehow tricked into inviting him inside her flat in broad daylight.

Shepherd was found in her lounge at the Folly Hall Gardens residential complex on 2 August, it was reported at the time that she had broken ribs where her attacker had possibly knelt on her.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "A 69-year-old man from the Halifax area has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of pensioner Amy Shepherd."

The 69-year-old man has been released under investigation whilst enquiries continue, police said on Tuesday (30 January).

Police re-opened the investigation into her death in 1998 and despite 23-year-old Richard Whelan being taken to trial, he was found not guilty, in 2000.

Shepherd's death was initially linked to the killing of Mary Kilbride, 80, who was found dead in a bedroom at her house in Rooley Lane in the Odsal area of Bradford.

Whelan was jailed for life for Kilbride's murder but a jury found him not guilty of killing Shepherd.