A homeless man who was found dead in a graveyard in Middlesbrough had been sprayed with paint in a separate assault three days earlier, police said.
Flowers and cards have been left by the wall where the man, in his 30s, used to sit. Red paint could still be seen at the site, which was behind a Tesco store in Normanby.
A video was reportedly uploaded to social media of the man being sprayed with paint. A voice could be heard saying ”this is how we deal with beggars on the street”.
The clip has now been deleted.
Cleveland Police said they had received a report about the assault on Sunday.
The man’s body was discovered on Wednesday at Eston Cemetary, a few minutes walk away from the site of the assault.
A spokesperson for Cleveland Police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances.
“Police are aware of the speculation on social media regarding the cause of the man’s death but we are not linking the assault with his death,” said Detective Inspector Matt Hollingsworth.
A retired couple stopped at the scene where paint assault took place.
“I hope they catch whoever did it,” said the woman.
“You used to see him in the summer, he used to sit out here with his shirt off getting a sun tan.”
“He was harmless, he was a really nice guy,” said her husband.
“We never heard anything ill said about him.”
Anyone with information about the assault with the paint is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Press Association contributed to this report
Credit: Source link