Hereford & Worcester

New leads after Andrew Heath arson appeal

The property
Image caption A wheelie bin was placed in the porch of the flat before being set on fire

Police investigating the death of a man in a suspected arson attack have said they are following up several new leads after a TV appeal.

Andrew Heath was found dead last month in Chedworth Close, Warndon, Worcester.

The fire in which the 52-year-old died was started in a wheelie bin, which had been pushed into the porch of his flat.

West Mercia Police said one person had been identified by a number of callers after the BBC One Crimewatch appeal on Thursday.

Det Ch Insp Paul Williamson, who is leading the operation, said: "One name in particular has been received from a number of different sources and they will be a focus of inquires in the coming days to see what part, if any, they will play in our investigation."

'Personal attack'

Detectives said the fire had the "hallmarks of a personal attack" on Mr Heath.

"Whoever set the fire must have known the devastating consequences their actions would have," Det Ch Insp Williamson added.

"Someone may have deliberately set out to kill Andrew or it may have been to scare and upset him."

On Crimewatch police particularly appealed for information about a group of people seen outside the house in the early hours of 14 December.

Mr Heath was known to lend money to people and police are looking into the possibility the fire could have been started by someone who owed him cash.

Police also want to speak to a man walking a small black dog in the area at about 03:30 GMT and someone on a bike who cycled past not long before the fire was reported.

They have been described as "crucial witnesses".

A £10,000 reward has been offered by police.

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