Man found dead in a flat was mur­dered say po­lice

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL BRITTON

THE death of a man dis­cov­ered with stab wounds in a flat is now be­ing treated as mur­der.

De­tec­tives say they are ‘begin­ning to paint a fuller pic­ture’ of the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the tragedy, but have is­sued an ap­peal for any­one with in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward.

Wil­liam Phe­lan, aged 39, was found dead in­side a flat on Kiln­side Drive in Harpurhey.

Po­lice and emer­gency ser­vices were called to the prop­erty shortly be­fore 11am last Mon­day af­ter re­ceiv­ing re­ports of con­cerns for the man’s wel­fare. He was pro­nounced dead at the scene.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion was quickly launched and po­lice said a post­mortem ex­am­i­na­tion has now con­firmed the cause of death was ‘mul­ti­ple stab wounds’.

His dev­as­tated fam­ily re­leased a state­ment.

Pay­ing trib­ute, his loved ones said: “We can’t be­gin to imag­ine life with­out Wil­liam. He was a beloved son, brother, un­cle and friend with a heart of gold.

“We can’t be­lieve this has hap­pened and that he has been taken from us in such a sick­en­ing, cruel and heart­less way.

“He was a kind, gen­tle guy who wouldn’t hurt any­one; he was al­ways smil­ing and loved lis­ten­ing to his mu­sic.”

En­quiries are now be­ing un­der­taken by GMP’s Ma­jor In­ci­dent Team.

Det Chief Insp Colin Larkin said the man’s fam­ily was be­ing sup­ported by spe­cially- trained of­fi­cers.

He said: “We have been car­ry­ing out a num­ber of en­quiries since Mon­day which have now led us to be­lieve that he was mur­dered.

“We have up­dated his fam­ily on this lat­est de­vel­op­ment and we are pro­vid­ing them with sup­port from spe­cially trained of­fi­cers at this truly dev­as­tat­ing time.

“My thoughts and the thoughts of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion team re­main with them as they try to come to terms with their loss.

“Our in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing to gather pace and we are begin­ning to paint a fuller pic­ture of the cir­cum­stances lead­ing up to this tragic in­ci­dent.

“I would like to ask any­one who thinks they may have any in­for­ma­tion that can as­sist us to please con­tact po­lice im­me­di­ately.”

Any­body with in­for­ma­tion is asked to call po­lice on 0161 856 6777, quot­ing in­ci­dent num­ber 705 of March 19. Or call Crimestop­pers, anony­mously, on 0800 555 111.

Po­lice and foren­sics of­fi­cers at the house in Harpurhey

Wil­liam Phe­lan

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