Neighbours' shock as Southsea pensioner, 84, is found dead - and three boys are arrested in manslaughter probe

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DETECTIVES investigating the death of an 84-year-old man have arrested three teenage boys on suspicion of manslaughter.

The body of Anthony Ronald Berry was discovered at his home in Manners Road, Southsea, on Friday.

Manners Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.''Picture: Habibur Rahman

Manners Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.''Picture: Habibur Rahman

Two boys, aged 15, and one 16-year-old – all from Portsmouth – were arrested in connection with Mr Berry’s death, police revealed yesterday.

All three teens have been released from custody but remain under investigation.

The news has rocked neighbours living in Manners Road, who described Mr Berry as a ‘hermit’ who would ‘keep himself to himself’.

Property developer Ben Greentree, 42, lives a few doors down from Mr Berry and was horrified by the death.

Manners Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.''Picture: Habibur Rahman

Manners Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.''Picture: Habibur Rahman

He said: ‘It’s so shocking. This is just a quiet family street with students living in it as well. It’s a nice place. Nothing like this ever happens. 

‘I didn’t know [Mr Berry] much. I saw him in passing but he kept himself to himself. He was a bit of a hermit.

‘I really hope the police get the people responsible.’

One 69-year-old woman, who has lived in the street for 26 years but asked not to be named, was left shaken by her neighbour’s death.

‘This is the first time anything like this has happened here,’ she added. ‘It’s really terrible. It’s shocking.’

Police first arrived at the scene on Friday morning, neighbours said, with forensic officers in white overalls combing the house and area for clues.

Uniformed officers stood guard at the house over the weekend, with police continuing to question residents about the death last night.

Isobelle Bray-Jones, who moved into the road in September, said her friends had been among those questioned by officers about Mr Berry’s death. 

The 20-year-old third-year law student at the University of Portsmouth said: ‘It’s really scary to think something like this can happen on your doorstep. 

‘My friends lived opposite the man’s house and have been questioned by police about it all.’ 

Police enquiries are continuing and officers would like to hear from anyone who knew Mr Berry, or has information about any suspicious activity in Manners Road that could help the investigation.

Supt Steve Burridge, district commander for Portsmouth, said: ‘At this time, we do believe this was an isolated incident. We are currently working to establish the full circumstances of the death. 

‘Local officers are focusing patrols in the area to reassure residents and are continuing to make enquiries, so if you live in the vicinity and have any concerns or any information, do not hesitate to speak to them. Or you can call 101, quoting Operation Satchel.’