CIVIC leaders have called on people in a Southampton community to help police find the killers of a “gentle giant” found dead in a stream.

Hampshire Police Authority chairman Jacqui Rayment will make a fresh appeal for information about the death of Shawn Williams at a meeting with residents on Monday.

Cllr Rayment is also ward councillor for Northam, where Shawn was the victim of an attack that led to his death. She described his death as “tragic” and urged people to shop the thugs who caused it.

On Wednesday detectives investigating the case called on the people of Northam to give them vital information that could lead to the capture of a gang they believe may have attacked Mr Williams.

But yesterday there was a wall of silence from the team leading the investigation as they remained tight lipped on any new developments.

It was revealed in yesterday’s Daily Echo that Mr Williams had discharged himself from hospital following the savage attack and is believed to have reached the Coxford woodland nearby on his way home where he was found dead 17 days later by a dog walker.

Cllr Rayment will talk with police officers from Northam at a meeting with the area’s tenants’ association where she intends to raise the matter again.

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Cllr Rayment said: “I’d call for people to come forward now and I’ll repeat those calls on Monday, if there’s anyone out there with information it’s vital that they come forward because we need to catch the people who committed this awful crime.

“We need to find out who has done this before we lay blame with anyone but if the attackers are from Northam, it’s something I’m sure the people of the Northam estate would not condone in any way.

“It’s a very community-minded estate where everyone tends to pull together as I well know as someone who once lived there.”

Fellow ward councillor Derek Burke reminded |residents that they could pass any information to police community support officers or local councillors they may find it easier to speak to.

“We want the police to solve this vicious attack on someone who was quite a gentle chap by all accounts,” said Cllr Burke.

“This attack was savage especially on a man who kept himself to himself and to die in such a way with no one around you is really tragic.

“I would remind everyone that they can talk to councillors, PCSOs or the police about this and I urge them to pick up the phone. Some people may have seen something and not thought it relevant but it could be that piece of information that helps the police.”

• Anyone with information can contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or call Hampshire police on 101.