Belfast Telegraph

Murdered ex-BBC man's 'vicious' killing may have been part of personal vendetta, say police

Police also considering he found intruders in his home.

Michael Kerr was found dead at his home on Tuesday
Michael Kerr was found dead at his home on Tuesday
Mark Edwards

By Mark Edwards

Murdered Bangor man Michael Kerr was killed in a "vicious, sustained and violent beating" in his own home, police have revealed.

Mr Kerr, who had worked as a TV and radio announcer for BBC Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s, was either attacked after disturbing intruders in his home or was murdered a part of a personal vendetta.

The 68-year-old's body was discovered in the house on Tuesday November 19.

While police have not yet established a motive, it's thought unlikely there was a sexual motive or paramilitary involvement.

Television viewers in the early 1980s will remember an infamous incident when Mr Kerr read the late-night television headlines before the nightly shut-down of the service while "worse for the wear".

The incident - which ended with the phrase "don't worry, it'll be good, it'll be nice" - cost him his job with the broadcaster.

A former colleague recalled how others in the company had volunteered to read the headlines for him that night, but he had managed to barricade himself into the studio.

Superintendent Jason Murphy provided an update to media on the murder of 68 year old Michael Kerr whose body was found at his home in Birch Drive, Bangor on Tuesday 19th November. Photo Laura Davison/Pacemaker Press
Superintendent Jason Murphy provided an update to media on the murder of 68 year old Michael Kerr whose body was found at his home in Birch Drive, Bangor on Tuesday 19th November. Photo Laura Davison/Pacemaker Press

Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, who is leading the murder investigation, said Mr Kerr suffered skull and facial fractures as a result of a beating.

"Mike’s body showed no sign of defensive injuries and he is likely to have been utterly defenceless in the face of the violence he faced", Mr Murphy said.

"The investigation is at an early stage, however it is important that in addition for my appeal for help from the public, that we provide some early information and reassurance.

"The circumstances surrounding Mike’s murder are likely to develop in the coming days, but I believe at this point that the attack happened inside his house in Birch Drive, off the Rathgael Road.

"I do not know at this stage how many people attacked Mike or whether Mike knew them. There is no sign of forced entry to the house and that leaves two likely scenarios – either Mike let his killers into his home or the doors to his house were not locked."

The last confirmed sighting of Mike was on Sunday in Birch Drive and police are attempting to establish his movements during the last few days of his life, particularly between 8am on Saturday and 4pm on Tuesday.

Mr Murphy described Mr Kerr as a private person, adding he was keen to established as much as he can about his lifestyle, friends and acquaintances.

"Mike was a man of routine and it is likely that locals saw Mike in the local Bangor area in the days before he was killed. We are keeping an open mind as to the motive for Mike’s murder," Mr Murphy said.

It is not believed Mr Kerr was the victim of a paramilitary style attack, nor do detectives believe the murder was sexually motivated.

Mr Kerr was a widower, having lost his wife around 15 years ago.

There is no evidence at this stage the public are at risk, but police have asked those in the area to remain vigilant.

Police have asked the public in help in identifying potential weapons that may have been discarded after the murder.

People living in the Birch Drive and surrounding area should contact police if they come across any item or object that could potentially be the murder weapon.

"I believe that whoever killed Mike will have been bloodstained when they left his house. In recent days they may have disappeared or begun acting strangely," Mr Murphy said.

"Has anyone you know come home with bloodstained clothing or returned home in different clothing from whatever they were wearing earlier?

"Do you have concerns that someone you know might have been involved in Mike’s murder?

"If so, please contact us."

Anyone with informations should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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