Belfast Telegraph

Murder probe officers arrest two teens after Richard Miskelly beaten to death in Ards

By Brett Campbell

The murder of a young man has sent shock waves through a Co Down town, politicians have said.

Two teenagers have been arrested after 24-year-old Richard Miskelly was killed in Newtownards.

Police have confirmed that the victim died after he was assaulted outside a house on the Bangor Road shortly after 5.30am yesterday.

When officers arrived at the house they discovered him lying face down in the driveway of the property, which is just off the main road.

Mr Miskelly was treated by ambulance staff who performed CPR but he died at the scene, where two 19-year-old men were arrested on suspicion of murder.

Last night they remained in police custody.

Yesterday afternoon Richard's mother Shirleen Appleton (45) and sister Ashley Miskelly (27) laid flowers near the scene.

A tribute written on the card said: "Beloved son and brother, our angel. Mum and Ashley xoxo."

A floral tribute was also left by the young man's father and stepmother. Their message said: "Son & Stepson, one and only. Dad, Nichola and kids xoxo."

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt was among many who expressed their shock and offered condolences.

"I have spoken to PSNI commander Brian Kee and the police are following a clear line of enquiry," he said.

"It is entirely regrettable that this has happened, but it is now up to the police to do their job. A night out has turned into tragedy for the murdered man, his family and his friends and my deepest sympathies are with them at this sad time."

Alliance Assembly candidate Kellie Armstrong urged people to come forward with information if they had any.

"I am shocked by this incident, which will send shockwaves throughout the entire community. My thoughts and prayers are with this young man's family following his death. To lose a loved one in such terrible circumstances is devastating."

Bangor Road resident Simone Reynolds (34) lives close to where the murder took place and regularly goes running in the area. When she woke up yesterday, forensic officers were still at the crime scene.

"I was completely shocked but then I was saddened for the family," she said. "Sometimes I would walk home on a Saturday night - you never think anything like this will happen, but I will think twice from now on."

Ms Reynolds added: "My thoughts are just with the family of the young man, it's a horrible thing that they have woken up to."

DUP councillor Naomi Armstrong-Cotter said her heart "absolutely aches" for the family. "As a community we grieve with them and want to offer our support to them at this time and I would just urge anyone with any information, no matter how small, to contact police," she said.

A post-mortem examination will now be carried out to determine the cause of death.

Detective Chief Inspector Justyn Galloway has appealed for information.

"This incident has resulted in the tragic death of a young man and I would ask anyone in the community who knows anything about the circumstances leading up to this incident, or saw or heard an altercation in the area of Bangor Road in Newtownards, to contact police," he said.

Anyone with information should contact detectives on 101, quoting reference number 391 of 26/02/17.

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