Detectives given more time to quiz murder suspect

ON GUARD A police officer outside the property in Seagrove Road, North End, Portsmouth. Picture: Sarah Standing (131271-3781)

ON GUARD A police officer outside the property in Seagrove Road, North End, Portsmouth. Picture: Sarah Standing (131271-3781)

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DETECTIVES have been granted more time to question a 39-year-old man on suspicion of murder in Portsmouth.

A senior police officer gave permission for detectives from Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Investigation Team (HMIT) to continue interviewing their suspect until Monday morning (May 13).

The 39-year-old from Hampshire was arrested on Saturday afternoon (May 11) when police were called to a flat in Seagrove Road, North End, just before 5pm following reports of a serious assault.

A 31-year-old man at the scene was pronounced dead and a 39-year-old was arrested and taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, to be treated for injuries.

Officers would not reveal any more information about the victim, although police said in a statement that a post-mortem was being held tonight.

Forensics officers carried out an investigation at the scene later that evening and the road remained closed all of Sunday.

Formal identification of the body is scheduled to take place on Monday. Next-of-kin are being kept informed by a dedicated Hampshire Constabulary family liaison officer.

Neighbours were left shocked by what happened.

Dick Stevens, 72, who lives close to where the dead man was found, said: ‘All I saw was when the police cars turned up. There were so many police cars here we knew something had kicked off.

‘I saw him (the man who was arrested) being carted off.’

Mr Stevens said the area was generally quiet.

Callum Beets, 21, lives in nearby Stamshaw Road with his pregnant 22-year-old partner Caroline Ralph.

He said: ‘We were in when the police arrived. We saw the ambulance arrive and watch them cordon it all off.

‘CID came in and started asking us some questions.’

Ms Ralph said it was not a shock to her.

‘I knew something serious was going to happen anyway,’ she said.

‘It concerns me because I’m due in seven weeks.

‘I’ve got to bring a baby back into this, so I’m hoping to move from it.’

Michelle Love, 38, of Seagrove Road, has lived there with her family for nine years. She and her husband Chris, 40, and two daughters were out at the time when the police were called.

‘We get on well with our neighbours,’ she said.

‘You get a bit of trouble on a Friday or Saturday night when people are coming back from the pubs but that’s few and far between.’

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Kath Barnes said: ‘I would like to thank all those members of the public who have helped our enquiries this weekend. Their time and assistance is appreciated as it’s supported a dedicated team of officers in gathering important evidence promptly about the events surrounding this assault.

‘There remains no information to suggest a wider risk to the community from this crime. Police cordons will stay in place at the scene in Seagrove Road so further forensic analysis can continue tonight and into Monday.’

Anyone with information is asked to call the MIT at Fratton Police Station on 101, quoting Operation Screed.

Mini-com users can phone 01962 875000.

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