Stab accused's mum stands by her son

THE mother of a German man arrested over the death of Matthew Pyke has vowed to stand by her son.

THE mother of a German man arrested over the death of Matthew Pyke has vowed to stand by her son.

David Heiss, 21, was arrested by German police on Wednesday on behalf of Nottingham detectives.

Betty Heiss said: "I can't believe that my son would ever do this. I love him very much, like before this happened."

Mrs Heiss said she had not seen her son since his arrest, despite living less than 200 metres from Limburg Prison, where he is being kept pending an extradition court hearing being sought by Nottinghamshire Police.

Mr Pyke, 20 who was originally from Stowmarket was found dead by girlfriend Joanna Witton in their North Sherwood Street flat, Nottingham, ten days ago.

German police have confirmed that Heiss, from the village of Dauborn, near Limburg, shared a passion for on-line computer games with Mr Pyke and Ms Witton, who ran a website dedicated to the game Advance Wars. Heiss had visited the couple at their flat above The Orange Tree pub and is said to have fallen in love with Ms Witton.

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Mr Pyke moved to Nottingham two years ago from Stowmarket in Suffolk and was due to start a degree course at Nottingham Trent University next month.

A message from Mr Pyke's mother, posted on the Advance Wars Net Community at the weekend, says: "Neither Nottingham nor the internet caused his death - this will all become clear. I hope no one ever tries to prevent the gaming community doing what they obviously love doing."

Meanwhile in York, Joanna Witton's former boss said she had been deeply in love with Mr Pyke.

"It is just unbelievable. Everyone loved her here. I only wish her and Matthew's family the best."

Gary Sutemire, manager of Rohan in York, an outdoor adventure clothing company where Joanna worked, described her as a "happy and likeable girl".

He said: "She is just a brilliant person. You cannot imagine anything happening like this to her. It is just awful.

"I only met him [Matthew] once. She always spoke fondly of him. She was definitely someone who was in love with this guy.

“It is just a shock. We really feel for her. You would never expect her to be in a position like this.

“It is just unbelievable. Everyone loved her here. She used to slot in. She was a very positive and proactive person. She always had a lot to say."

Joanna, who is believed to be on a work placement year from her Environmental Science degree, is originally from Selby in North Yorkshire and went to Selby High School before spending two years at Selby College. She graduated from there in 2006.