A 42-year-old man will appear in court this morning charged with attempting to murder his mum and her husband at their home near Marlborough.

James Wells, 42, of Seymour Road, Lee-on-the-Solent, has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court.

The couple, who are in their 60s and 70s have been named locally as Lin and Adrian Holford.

They were taken to two separate hospitals with serious injuries.

Mrs Holford is still in a critical condition at the Southampton General Hospital head injuries unit. Her husband Adrian is said to be up and about, having been taken to Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

The small, rural hamlet of Ham, just a mile from Shalbourne, is in shock after the incident, and Ham and Shalbourne vicar the Rev Colin Heberpercy says the close knit community is 'utterly heartbroken'.

"These are two deeply committed people, devoted to this community," he said of the couple, who he described as quiet and private people.

"We are broken-hearted about this, and my heart goes out to Adrian who must be in such pain at the moment not being able to see Lin.

"This is a terribly difficult situation. The coronavirus means the church is closed, and it also means we cannot go and visit them."

He said the village has decided, through a WhatsApp group, to form a heart shape with candles on the church path of All Saints' Church in Ham, where Mrs Holford is the churchwarden and Mr Holford the PCC treasurer, adding: "We can't, and must not, gather to pray for them, so this way people can show they are thinking of them."

The Wiltshire Police helicopter circled the village on Monday evening, casting spotlights in and around the house on Cutting Hill before landing in a nearby field.

The alarm was raised when police were called to reports of a disturbance around 7.30pm on Monday and paramedics then found the injured couple inside their home. Crime scene investigators are still at the scene.

Inspector Chris Martin said: “There is likely to be a police presence at the address until the end of the week as we continue with our investigation, so if you live locally please do not be alarmed by this.”