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Hammer attack probe into death of man in Easington home

Fred Shipley
Image caption Mr Shipley was found dead in his kitchen

A man found dead in his kitchen in County Durham may have been bludgeoned to death with a hammer, police have said.

Fred Shipley, 59, was discovered with serious head injuries at Paradise Crescent, Easington, on 3 July.

Officers said he had been "vulnerable" and described the manner of his death as "appalling".

Now, a month after his death, they have appealed for more information to help catch his killer.

Police said there had been no signs of forced entry at the victim's home, but he was known to leave his front door unlocked at times or may have known his attacker.

Officers were called after neighbours alerted Mr Shipley's family that he had not been seen all day.

He had spent the previous evening watching World Cup football with a neighbour, and it is believed he was killed sometime after midnight.

'Kind and loving'

Det Supt Ken Donnelly, of Northumbria Police, vowed to leave "no stone unturned" in the hunt for the killer.

He said: "Paradise Crescent is a relatively quiet area, there aren't a lot of comings and goings during the night.

"You would expect that the attack on Fred would have created some sort of disturbance which may have been heard.

"Although he had some mental health problems, he was dealing with them and he always went out of his way to help others.

"It is tragic that he died in this way, just a month short of his 60th birthday."

Mr Shipley's brother Derek said he was known as "kind and loving" and a "genuine, down to earth man".

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