Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man's shock after finding body outside home

The scene at the Kings Road area of Tullycarnet in east Belfast where a man died after being stabbed on Thursday
The scene at the Kings Road area of Tullycarnet in east Belfast where a man died after being stabbed on Thursday

By Mairead Holland

A young father has spoken of his shock after coming upon a man's body just yards from his home in east Belfast.

The man made the discovery as he returned to his flat in the Tullycarnet area, off the Kings Road, after leaving his son to Boys' Brigade on Thursday night.

The victim, who police said was 49 years old, is reported to have been stabbed.

A 26-year-old man has been arrested.

The local resident said he spotted the man lying on the ground and another man standing beside him as he returned home around 6.45pm.

"He was already dead at that stage," he said. "I was really shocked. That's the first time I have ever seen anybody dead.

"He had marks on his head and his back.

"I stayed at the scene until the police and ambulance arrived but there was nothing they could do for him."

The man added: "I have lived in this area my whole life and nothing like this has ever happened before. It's always quiet here."

Forensic officers were still at the scene yesterday afternoon and the area remained sealed off.

Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers, who represents the area and visited the scene shortly after the incident, said he was "absolutely horrified" when he heard of what had happened. "My thoughts, prayers and heartfelt sympathies go to the victim's family," he said.

"I don't know what happened but no one has the right to take the law into their own hands."

Mr Rodgers said the area had seen a lot of paramilitary activity in the past, but in recent times a lot of good community work had been going on.

He said: "The Hanwood Trust is one of the most successful social enterprises in the whole of Northern Ireland and is doing fantastic work with young people and senior citizens in the area. The 3G pitch has just been refurbished and work on a new building for Tagit Boxing Club is due to start within the next month or so."

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson said news of the man's death was "disturbing".

"As the facts and details emerge, I would strongly urge anyone who has any information to contact the PSNI," the DUP MP said.

East Belfast DUP MLA Robin Newton said the PSNI must receive support following the incident. "Whatever reason for this dreadful incident, there can be no justification for the loss of a life," he said.

"The PSNI need support from the community as they deal with the awful incident."

DUP MLA Joanne Bunting said: "The community of Tullycarnet will be stunned that this incident has happened on their doorstep.

"This is a quiet area where people know one another and live peacefully."

Police have said they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the man's death.

Yesterday, a 26-year-old man was being questioned by detectives at Musgrave Serious Crime Suite.

A post-mortem is due to take place to determine the cause of death.

Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney said: "I would appeal to anyone who was in the Kings Road area last night between 6pm and 8pm and saw anything that may be of assistance to our investigation, please call 101 and ask to speak to detectives in Ladas Drive."

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