Hardened police officers were almost physically sick when they discovered the chopped up remains of a body in a wheelie bin in a gruesome crime which has horrified Ulster, it emerged last night.
The dismembered body of 34- year-old William David McClatchey, from Taughmonagh in south Belfast, was discovered by officers who rushed to a block of flats in the east of the city following a tip-off.
Eyewitnesses told the Belfast Telegraph that when police officers opened the bin the grisly sight of the severed body left them feeling ill.
A 42-year-old, who lives in the flats at The Mount where the body was found, was arrested within minutes of the discovery and was last night still helping police with their enquiries.
One resident, who watched the police operation unfold, said it was " like something out of horror movie".
"About 6pm I was on the balcony and I saw four police officers come running up towards the flats. They went over to the bins and looked in and two of the officers were almost sick when they saw what was inside. I looked down and could see a trail of blood coming from the bins to a flat," he said.
The man added: "I saw officers pull a quilt with blood on it out of the bin and they took it away along with a sealed bag. They put the cordons up everywhere and nobody could get in or out of the flats. The guy they later arrested walked under the cordon, down to the shop and then came back about five minutes later. That's when they took him away in handcuffs."
The wheelie bin had been left in the courtyard of the block of flats and another resident said he had heard a commotion at the bins late on Sunday night, raising speculation that the body may have been disposed of then.
A police spokesman confirmed that a post mortem examination had been carried out on Mr McClatchey's body but said the results were not being made public at this time.
It is understood Mr McClatchey had gone to watch a football match on Sunday with the man who has been arrested.
A large part of The Mount area, just off the Castlereagh Road, was cordoned off throughout yesterday.
UUP councillor Michael Copeland said: "The community still appears to be in a state of shock following this gruesome death. I would like to pay credit to the member of the public who alerted police to the body."
Belfast Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers added: "This is deeply worrying. Violent crime is a problem, not just in Belfast but right across Northern Ireland."
* Meanwhile, police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery of a man's body in Co Down.
The body was discovered on the Comber Road in Newtownards at around 5.30pm yesterday. It is not yet known if the death is suspicious.