Thomas Brittain stabbing: Colchester police name men sought

Andre Vella (left) and Jack Hummerstone Essex Police want to speak to Andre Vella (left) and Jack Hummerstone

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Police have named two men they want to speak to over the death of a musician who was stabbed in his Essex flat.

Jack Hummerstone, 18, of London, and Andre Vella, 19, of Frinton-on-Sea, are being sought in connection with the death of Tom Brittain, 26, on Saturday.

He was found in the property in Parkside Quarter, Colchester.

In October, police believed Mr Brittain, a songwriter from Colchester, may have been assaulted and kidnapped, but he later turned up safe and well.

Police said if anyone sees the men they are advised not to approach them but to contact Essex Police immediately by calling 999.

'Hand yourselves in'

Det Ch Insp Mark Hall, of Essex Police, said: "We have decided to take the unusual step of issuing the names and pictures of these two individuals at this early stage as we believe it is vitally important we speak to them.

Start Quote

They violently assaulted and killed the victim who was unable to defend himself”

End Quote Det Ch Insp Mark Hall

"Our message to these two men is this - you should hand yourselves in at the nearest police station as soon as possible."

The wanted men are described as white, 6ft (1.8m) tall and of average build. They were wearing hooded tops and tracksuit-type clothing and had covered faces.

A police spokesman said the attack took place after "two white men went into a flat, armed with weapons and threatened one of the occupants".

Police said Mr Brittain suffered multiple stab wounds and the provisional result from the post-mortem examination carried out on Saturday was that he died from a stab wound to the chest.

Another man was found at the flat with a hand wound.

CCTV images released by police Police released CCTV of the men they wanted and said they did not think it was a random killing

In October witnesses had reported seeing Mr Brittain being bundled into a black Ford Mondeo in Clarendon Way, Colchester, and driven away from the scene.

A few days later Mr Brittain contacted police to confirm he was safe and well.

Mr Brittain's family said he was as a songwriter and local music producer, also known as Twister.

They said: "He was a lovely, kind and funny man who will be dearly missed."

Tributes have also appeared on YouTube and Facebook to Mr Brittain.

Earlier police said they did not believe the killing was a random attack.

'Very dangerous individuals'

Detectives said they needed to hear from any witnesses or anyone who was in the St Peters Street area in the early hours of Saturday.

Det Ch Insp Mark Hall said: "After leaving the flat, I believe the two men fled via the riverside path that runs behind Charles House, before getting into a dark Ford Fiesta parked in St Peters Street, close to the junction with Middle Mill.

"I would appeal to anyone who may have seen this vehicle leaving the area to contact police.

"These men forced their way into a flat where the victim was staying, armed with a knife. One of the men was also in possession of a handgun.

"They violently assaulted and killed the victim who was unable to defend himself.

"As such, I consider them to be very dangerous individuals. It is vital that they are identified and arrested as soon as possible. They should not be approached, but I urge anyone who recognises them to contact police immediately."

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