Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Shock after burned man's murder

The burned body of Stuart Walker was discovered at Caponacre industrial estate in Cumnock

A man found with "horrible injuries" by the side of the road was the victim of an "extremely violent" attack, police have said.

Officers investigating the death of Stuart Walker in Cumnock, Ayrshire, over the weekend said they do not believe it was a random attack.

The body of the 28-year-old was found by two members of the public in an industrial estate shortly before 5am on Saturday.

Strathclyde Police divisional commander John Thomson said: "Stuart was the subject of an extremely violent attack. I do not believe this was a random attack and I would like to reassure the public that I do not anticipate a recurrence of this attack."

Officers said they would not discuss specific injuries in case it was "prejudicial in the future" but reports have suggested Mr Walker was beaten and burned.

Police said they do not have any suspects in custody but have taken a number of statements and are appealing for further information.

Mr Thomson added: "We have no distinct motive as yet but I remain optimistic we will bring the individual or individuals responsible for this crime to book sooner rather than later. There are a number of open lines of inquiry. I would also express sincere heartfelt sympathies to Stuart's family, friends and loved ones."

Detectives said there was nothing at this stage to suggest it was a homophobic crime but that they were not ruling anything out.

Detective Inspector John Hogg, of Ayr police station, said: "We are still working towards identifying a motive for this murder. I am aware of all the speculation in the media regarding Mr Walker and his death. At this time we have nothing to indicate that this is a homophobic crime.

"Until we know the exact circumstances surrounding this murder, we will not rule anything out and will keep an open mind on any possible motive for this terrible crime."

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