Police continue to question man over New Year's Eve murder in Hythe

Daily Echo: Police continue to question man over murder Police continue to question man over murder

POLICE were last night continuing to question a man on suspicion of murder after a 31-year-old male died during a fight on New Year’s Eve.

Officers were called to an address in Hythe after reports of a fight taking place inside.

When they arrived at around 9pm they found the 31-year-old man with serious injuries inside the home in Langdown Road.

Paramedics treated the man at the scene before taking him to Southampton General Hospital where he later died.

A police spokesman said: “Officers were called at around 9pm after a man sustained serious injuries in the altercation.

“He was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10.20pm.”

A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service confirmed they had been called by Hampshire police and that paramedics attempted to treat the man at the scene and en route to the hospital.

A murder inquiry was immediately launched by detectives from Hampshire’s Major Investigation Team and in the early hours of yesterday morning they arrested a 31-year-old man at an address in Totton.

The suspect spent yesterday being questioned by officers in Southampton on suspicion of murder.

Meanwhile a post-mortem examination was yesterday being carried out on the body of the victim, who has not been named, to establish how he died while the man’s family were being contacted to inform them of the tragic news.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: “The nextof- kin of the victim have been notified but there are still some close family members to be informed, and we won’t be in a position to release further details of the deceased man until we have spoken to them.”

No details were being released on the nature of the injuries the man sustained or whether any weapons were used during the incident.

Neighbours and community leaders spoke of their shock at the murder, which cast a dark shadow over New Year celebrations in the Hampshire market town.

Brenda Smith, chairman of Hythe and Dibden Parish Council, said: “It’s deeply regrettable and tragic that someone’s New Year’s Eve ended in this way.

“I don’t know the circumstances but it’s not something we’re used to in Hythe, where violent crime is very rare.

“My heart goes out to the family of the person who died.”

Yesterday neighbours awoke to the sight of a police car parked near the murder scene and a uniformed officer standing guard outside.

The property, one of a semi-circular row of houses near the junction of Langdown Road and South Street, appeared to be deserted.

The downstairs blinds were drawn and the upstairs curtains were also closed.

Part of the blue and white police tape used to cordon off the property the night before was still attached to the garden railings.

The terraced house is only a few hundred yards from Waterside Primary School.

A woman living nearby said: “The police came here on Tuesday night and said there had been a serious incident but we hadn’t seen anything apart from blue flashing lights.

“It’s an awful thing to have happened, especially on New Year’s Eve.”

Another neighbour, builder Neil Richardson, 33, added: “We saw two or three police cars driving around as we walked back from Hythe.

“I’m shocked that someone has been murdered. You see this sort of thing on TV but you don’t expect it to happen on your own doorstep.”

Another Langdown Road resident said: “Our lounge is at the back of the house and I didn’t see or hear anything.

“The first we knew of it was when we looked out yesterday morning and saw a policeman standing outside the property.

“At first I thought there must have been a burglary, then we saw it on the Daily Echo website.”

“My reaction is one of shock. It’s a terrible start to the new year for the family of the victim.”

Window cleaner Nick Smith, 34, lives just across the road from where the murder took place.

He said: “I saw two police cars parked in the street on Tuesday night and noticed that one was still there yesterday morning.

“This is normally a quiet neighbourhood but I’m not shocked. It’s a terrible world and seems to be getting worse. This sort of thing can happen anywhere.”

Officers leading the inquiry are also appealing for any witnesses or anyone who was in the area who may have some information to get in touch.

Anyone who may be able to help is asked to contact the Operation Redding team on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 08000 555 111.

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