Stabbing death may be drugs-related

A YOUNG man found stabbed to death in Essex may have been the victim of a drugs-related dispute, it has emerged.

James Hore

A YOUNG man found stabbed to death in Essex may have been the victim of a drugs-related dispute, it has emerged.

Detectives do not believe the incident in Bocking, near Braintree, which claimed the life of a 25-year-old, was a random attack.

The man was found dead in Coldnailhurst Avenue at about 10pm on Tuesday.

An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and remained in custody last night, however, police want to speak to two men they believe are connected to the killing which happened just yards from the John Bunyan School.

Results of a post mortem examination have yet to be released, but it is understood the local man had been stabbed.

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Police officers were with his family yesterday, but his name has yet to be released.

A knife was recovered but officers are not yet sure if it was used in the incident and have appealed for anyone who finds a bladed item to leave it where they find it and contact them.

Police believe a gathering of people on the street shortly before the incident, close to the junction with Lancaster Way, was related to the killing.

An Essex Police spokeswoman confirmed: “One line of enquiry at the moment is that the incident is related to drugs.”

Det Supt John Quinton, of Essex Police's major investigation unit, said: “There are at least two other men I am keen to speak to in relation to this enquiry.

“I am also keen to speak to anyone in Coldnailhurst Avenue area between 6pm and midnight who saw anything which might be relevant to the investigation.

“We believe that at one point, a small dark salon car pulled up and the assault occurred a short time after this car arrived.

“There will be people locally who were key witnesses to what happened or have heard whispers about who might be involved and I urge them to come and speak to us at the earliest opportunity.”

A black Ford Ka was removed from the area by police because it is thought the car was damaged during the incident and could have vital forensic evidence on it.

Superintendent Tim Newcomb of Braintree police said: “It is very rare for Braintree to experience an incident of such a violent nature.

“I know there is a local school very close to the scene of the attack and I fully appreciated that this type of incident can shake a community but I want to reassure everyone that this does not appear to be a random assault.

“As well as a team of detectives working on the investigation my local officers will be liaising with the school and doing everything they can to support those living in the area.”

Residents in the Coldnailhurst Avenue area spoke of their shock at the incident.

David Pennell , 39, said: “It is a nice place to live here and it is reasonably quiet too. This is quite a shock and not something you would expect here.”

Anyone with information about the attack should call 0300 333 4444.

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