DETECTIVES hunting the killers of a “gentleman” carer have said his death was the result of a “random attack”.
Mark Squires, 44, died in hospital after being set upon by a group of attackers just hours after a fundraiser he had organised in memory of a friend who had passed away.
The incident, in which he suffered “significant” head and facial injuries, happened in the early hours of Sunday morning in a pathway next to the Longstone Inn on Longstone Road.
Police confirmed they were following a number of “positive lines of inquiry”.
They also said that they were looking to trace a group of three men and two women in relation to the incident.
Detective Inspector David Pinkney, from the Major Investigation Team, said his thoughts were with Mr Squires’ family and friends, adding he was confident the attack had been a “one-off” incident.
He said: “Mark and his friend had organised a charity night at the Longstone Hearts Club. The event went well, there had been no major incidents throughout the night.
“After the event Mark and his friend left to get a takeaway. That had been shut and they then walked back to pick up a taxi near to the Longstone Inn.
“On arrival they encountered a group of three males and two females [and] there has been some sort of altercation which then turned violent.
“From our indications so far there is nothing to link the two groups together. We think it is a random attack.
“To give an idea of Mark, he was organising a charity night for his friend – that’s an indication of the gentleman he was.”
DI Pinkney said it was difficult to provide a full description of the individuals the force wanted to trace due to the incident happening when it was dark.
However, he said the three men, thought to be in their late teens or early 20s, were wearing dark clothing, one with stripes.
Meanwhile one of the women appeared to have been wearing a grey and dark top with a short mini skirt, and the other a dark outfit that was either an all-in-one dress or a top and skirt. Both are also believed to be in their late teens or early 20s.
Popular Mark, known locally as “Squeak”, visited Broomhouse Convenience Store daily to collect newspapers and shopping for his mum, Chrissy, who suffers dementia.
“He didn’t have a bad bone in his body. Nobody has got a bad word to say about him,” said manager Mohammed Abad, 45.
“No one deserves what happened to him – least of all him. He wasn’t a violent guy.
“The community is in shock. He was well-liked and always having a laugh. His mum was his world.”
Dozens of floral tributes have since been left outside the pub, with licensee Thomas Moles saying he was “horrified” by the incident.
Meanwhile Chief Inspector Alan Carson said CCTV footage was forming a “big part” of the police inquiries.
He added: “In tragic circumstances like these we really see the strength of the community.
“That is something we have seen already despite this being at the relatively early stages of the investigation.”