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VIDEO: Police in plea for witnesses after murder of former Norwich bus conductor at property in Corton Road

PUBLISHED: 08:27 29 February 2012 | UPDATED: 16:16 29 February 2012

Police outside Clyffe Cottages, Corton Road, Norwich where the body of resident Barry Reeve was found. They have now launched a murder inquiry. Photo: Steve Adams

Police outside Clyffe Cottages, Corton Road, Norwich where the body of resident Barry Reeve was found. They have now launched a murder inquiry. Photo: Steve Adams

The detective overseeing the investigation into the murder of a former Norwich bus conductor has issued a direct plea to anyone who might have information about the circumstances surrounding his death - no matter how small - to contact police.

The body of 67-year-old Barry Reeve, who was known as Titch, was found by officers who were called to a property on Corton Road, off City Road, Norwich, just before 3pm on Sunday.

The victim’s daughter called at the address in the afternoon to find the back door insecure and what appeared to be blood on an internal door.

She called the police who attended and found the body of Mr Reeve, a former bus conductor for Eastern Counties Buses, inside the premises.

A police cordon has been put in place around properties in Clyffe Cottages, once a Colman’s owned residential development for their former employees but which is now run by Broadland Housing Group, at the Bracondale end of Corton Road.

Although the death was initially being treated as “unexplained” a murder inquiry has now been launched by police who currently have 20 officers working on the case.

Detective Superintendent Julian Gregory from the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team (MIT), who is overseeing the investigation, said inquiries are being concentrated around the scene and would continue to be so for “days” rather than hours.

He said: “We will be doing some house-to-house inquiries around the immediate area and other lines of inquiry will unfold as the investigation develops.

“Our inquiries continue to establish the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Reeve and I would like to reiterate my appeal for anyone who has knowledge of this incident to come forward and talk to us. “No matter how insignificant you think your information may be we would like to hear from you.”

Inquiries to find out exactly when he died are continuing, but it has now been established Mr Reeve, who lived alone, was a victim of a “serious assault” and that he died as a consequence of injuries sustained during that “nasty” assault.

Det Supt Gregory said it was too early to establish a motive or say whether the perpetrator and victim were known to each other but insisted there was nothing to suggest it was anything other than an “isolated attack” and not an “ongoing threat” to other people living locally.

Det Supt Gregory added: “Murder is thankfully a relatively rare crime in our county and this appears to have been an isolated attack and as such it does not appear that there is any ongoing threat to the wider community.”

Police will maintain a high visibility presence in the area over the coming days to help provide reassurance to people living in the area.

The death, which has resulted in scores of police and scenes of crime officers descending on the quiet urban street in the past few days, has sent shockwaves through the community.

A 56-year-old man who lives at Clyffe Cottages, but who did not want to be named, said: “You don’t expect it do you? It’s a very quiet area on the whole.”

A 78-year-old man, who lived in the area, but who also did not want to be named, said he was “shocked” to hear what had happened to Mr Reeve whom he knew only to say good morning to and who “kept himself to himself”.

Victoria MacDonald, a city councillor for Lakenham ward, which includes Corton Road, said: “Obviously we don’t know the full extent of what has occurred there, but it’s reiterating what the police have said.

“These events are rare and I would just ask residents to be vigilant to think back if they can support the police in any way with anything that might’ve occurred.

“It’s absolutely dreadful and my thoughts at this time are with the family involved and the gentleman. I didn’t know him but I do know residents down there.

“If anyone can think of anything, no matter how trivial or small please contact the police and let’s find out what’s happened.”

The Evening News contacted Broadland Housing Group, which owns Clyffe Cottages, for a comment, but a spokesman said: “We’re unable to make any comments so are referring anyone back to the police.”

Anyone with information should contact the Major Investigation Team on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Would you like to pay tribute to Mr Reeve? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk.

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