Friday, May 17, 2024

Former Grays resident at centre of Colchester murder probe

jimattA FORMER Grays resident is the subject of a murder investigation after he was found dying in a Colchester park on Saturday morning.

James Attfield (known as Jim), 33 of East Bay, Colchester was found by a member of the public in Castle Park, just before 5.45am this morning, Saturday.

He sadly died while paramedics were at the scene having suffered serious injuries to his upper body, including to his head and hands.

A post-mortem examination is expected to take place on Sunday.

A cordon remains on an area about 1.5 miles long between Wakefield Close and Riverside Place, covering a footpath and greensward.

Jim lived in Grays for a number of years. He worked at The Old Shant public house in London, Road, West Thurrock.

YT spoke to the landlord of the pub, Kevin McDonagh who paid tribute to Jim.

Kevin said: “He was a lovely fella who was very popular. He got along with everyone. A few years ago, he was knocked down by a car outside the pub. He returned to Colchester in order to recover.

“All of us at the Old Shant send our sincere condolences.”

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are working to piece together Jim’s movements on Friday evening in to Saturday morning. Anyone who may have seen him in Colchester town centre or in Castle Park is urged to get in contact. Police are also seeking information about a man who was seen walking along East Hill at 5.30am this morning.

Senior Investigating Officer DCI Simon Werrett said: “Castle Park is used at all hours of the day and night and I’m sure someone will have seen something. I really need to hear from anyone who saw anybody acting suspiciously in the park, anyone who heard anything untoward, or anyone who thinks they may know who is responsible for Jim’s death.

“Equally I would invite the person or people responsible to hand themselves in. We have not yet been able to establish a motive for this violent attack during which we believe a bladed weapon has been used. Until the post-mortem examination has been carried out I am unable to say what that weapon may have been or to elaborate on the injuries caused.”

Local superintendent Steve Ditchburn said there will be an increased police presence in Colchester town centre this evening, both to assist with the investigation and to offer reassurance to local residents.

He said: “We remain concerned that we have not yet been able to trace the person or people responsible for this death.

“I hope residents will take some reassurance from the increased presence today which will be continuing throughout the evening and as long as is necessary, but I am aware that this incident will be causing some to worry.

“I would ask people to remain vigilant and to contact us if they see anything suspicious.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the North Major Investigation Team on 01206 576845, 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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