Tyne & Wear

Newcastle disabled man Lee Irving's murder 'may be hate crime'

Scene of murder Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Disabled Lee Irving was discovered lying near a path in Fawdon in Newcastle

A murder victim may have been targeted because he was disabled, police have said.

The body of Lee Irving was found on grass near Hazeldene Avenue in Fawdon, Newcastle, on Saturday morning.

Northumbria Police said the 24-year-old, from Camperdown, East Denton, had learning difficulties and his death may have been a hate crime. They said they thought those involved knew each other.

Four men and a woman are being held on suspicion of murder.

A post-mortem examination has been carried out but a cause of death has not been revealed.

Supt Bruce Storey said: "It's thought those involved in this incident know each other. Lee had learning difficulties and was vulnerable, one of our key lines of enquiry is to establish whether this is a factor in his death and a motivation in this crime."

Officers said flyer distributors were in the area at the time and are keen to speak to them.

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