Hove pitch and putt body: Man killed in 'vicious attack'

Police at scene The scene was cordoned off on Tuesday while forensic examinations were carried out and specialist officers searched the area

A man who was found dead next to a pitch and putt golf course on Hove seafront was killed in a "vicious attack", police said.

The man, believed to be in his 40s and a rough sleeper, was discovered with a severe head injury near Western Esplanade at about 20:30 GMT on Monday.

He was found by community workers from a homeless project who called police.

Det Ch Insp Ian Pollard said: "This was a vicious attack, the motive of which is not yet known."

Start Quote

Levels of violence and victimisation on homeless people are very high”

End Quote Duncan Shrubsole Crisis
'Knew attacker'

He said officers did not know how the man's injuries were inflicted but he may have known his attacker.

Adding that the area was frequented by homeless people, he said: "I know the street community are very close knit - but I would appeal to them to please get in touch if they have any information that could help us with our inquiries no matter how relevant they think it is."

He said a post-mortem examination was due to be carried out on Wednesday.

People who live nearby said two men regularly slept in the area and were well-known to residents.

Local resident Len Eastwood said: "The local community, especially people in the flats and the houses here, kept an eye on them and they appreciated it. They were very well looked after actually."

Police at scene The body was found near the pitch and putt at Western Esplanade

He added: "They had no axe to grind with anybody locally, so I wouldn't know who would want to hurt them."

Duncan Shrubsole, from the homeless charity Crisis, said: "Levels of violence and victimisation on homeless people are very high and actually homeless people are 13 times more likely to be a victim of violence than the general public.

"Most of that violence is often committed by the general public. Homelessness is a very dangerous experience."

The scene was cordoned off on Tuesday while forensic examinations were carried out and specialist officers searched the scene.

Any witnesses have been asked to contact the police.

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