Murder probe launched after grim find

POLICE have launched a murder inquiry after a former charity shop worker described by neighbours as a friendly but “private man” was found dead at his home in Essex.

POLICE have launched a murder inquiry after a former charity shop worker described by neighbours as a friendly but “private man” was found dead at his home in Essex.

Residents of quiet Bunyan Road, in Braintree, told how police used a battering ram to break into a bungalow at about 9.30pm on Wednesday night before finding the lifeless body of a man in his 60s.

Shortly after the grim discovery, detectives launched a murder inquiry and house-to-house inquiries began at about 11pm that same night.

A 37-year-old man was arrested within hours of the emergency services' arrival at the address on suspicion of murder.


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Last night the man was being questioned by detectives in connection with the incident. A preliminary post mortem showed the cause of death to be strangulation.

A police cordon was put in place at both the front and rear of the dead man's home, while formal identification of the body is expected to take place this morning.

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Well regarded by his neighbours, the man, known as Michael, could often be seen out in the street, which is home to a largely genteel elderly population, speaking with his neighbours.

Those living in the area, which is made up of houses, bungalows and flats, yesterday told of their shock at what had happened in their street.

They described Michael as a “private man” who had no family following the tragic death of his son late last year.

Friend and neighbour Harry Bibby, 86, was yesterday “very upset” after learning what had happened to his neighbour.

He said: “He was a very private man who kept himself to himself. It is very upsetting.”

Neighbours told how Michael had been out of work for a number of years since the Oxfam charity shop, where he had worked as a volunteer, was closed four years ago.

One neighbour, a woman who lives opposite Michael bungalow, said: “He was a nice man and I often spoke with him when we met in the street.

“I only saw him a couple of days ago. You never think things like this will happen where you live. They always seem to happen elsewhere, in larger towns and cities.

“He did like to drink, and he spoke his mind. But I never had a problem with him.”

Another neighbour, a man who lives to the right Michael's home, said: “I was a very private man who largely kept himself to himself. He seemed a pleasant man who was quiet.”

Another neighbour, also of Bunyan Road, told how Michael had turned to drink following the death of his son late last year. The neighbour said: “He was very upset by it and it was from that point that he turned to drink. He was never a problem though.”

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