Northern Ireland

Mathew Goddard murder: Boy, 12, released on police bail

Chobham Street, east Belfast
Image caption The body of Mathew Goddard was found at a house in Chobham Street in east Belfast

Police investigating the murder of a man in east Belfast have released a 12-year-old boy on police bail pending further inquiries.

He was arrested along with a 17-year-old youth following searches on Sunday. The 17-year-old remains in police custody.

Mathew Goddard, who was 41, was found in his house in Chobham Street at about 21:40 GMT on Wednesday.

He was last seen alive at about 18:00 GMT on 23 December.

A man and woman, aged 21 and 24 respectively, who were arrested on Saturday are still being questioned over the murder.

Police said Mr Goddard was killed in a "sustained and brutal attack" and had been beaten with his electric guitar and other objects.

They said they were "not prepared to disclose the exact cause of death at this stage".

Det Ch Insp John McVea added: "Mr Goddard suffered a brutal and violent attack in the living-room of his home, a place where he should have felt safe.

"Mr Goddard was not previously known to police.

"We believe he may have been involved in drugs and this is one of a number of lines of enquiry police are investigating.

"At this stage, we do not know the reason why Mr Goddard was attacked, but this type of vicious behaviour has no place in society."

Police have appealed for anyone who was in the area between teatime on 23 December and 21:40 GMT on 24 December and noticed anything suspicious, or who has information, to contact detectives.

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