Northern Ireland

Basil McAfee: Appeal on first anniversary of 'axe' murder

The last public sighting of Mr McAfee was in an off-licence on the Cavehill Road Image copyright PSNI
Image caption The last public sighting of Mr McAfee was in an off-licence on the Cavehill Road, hours before he was found dead at his home nearby

Detectives investigating the murder of a man who they believe was attacked with an axe have renewed their appeal on the first anniversary of his death.

Basil McAfee was found dead by his mother at his home in Henderson Avenue, north Belfast, on 20 December 2013.

Police said he "suffered a violent death" and added that they believed his killer used an axe and a large knife.

They said that although it was not a random attack, his killer remains a danger to others in the community.

'Ferocious'

The police officer leading the murder investigation, Det Ch Insp John McVea, said: "It is a year since Basil died and his death has slipped somewhat from public consciousness.

"But it remains an enduring heartache for his family - his mother, siblings and his grown-up children.

"They are about to face a second Christmas without Basil and without knowing why this happened to him and who is responsible."

Mr McAfee, a father-of-two, was attacked in the living room of his home and police have released a photograph of the murder scene as part of the renewed appeal.

The 50-year-old had been stabbed a number of times and sustained head wounds consistent with being hit with an axe.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Mr McAfee was murdered in his living room and his body was found by his mother

The investigating officer described the murder as a "ferocious attack".

"He suffered a violent death at the hands of an assailant who was probably wielding an axe and a long-bladed knife," Mr McVea said.

CCTV images

He confirmed that items, including money, were taken from Mr McAfee's house.

"Although we believe the attack was not random, but focused on Basil, whoever did this is a danger to others in the community while still at large," the detective added.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption As part of their renewed appeal police have released a personal photo of Basil McAfee, taken in 2012

The last public sighting of Mr McAfee was in an off-licence on the Cavehill Road, close to his home, on the afternoon of Thursday 19 December 2013.

Shortly after the murder, police released CCTV images showing the victim shopping in the off-licence in a bid to get witnesses to come forward.

However, they have now said they believe other people visited Mr McAfee who have not yet contacted detectives.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, they can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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