A man has been arrested in connection with the death of a gay Scottish man who moved to Brighton to start a new life in the city’s LGBT community.
The 28-year-old from London was arrested last night (22 July) in the UK capital on suspicion of murder and has been taken into custody in Sussex today (Monday).
A murder investigation was launched on Saturday (21 July) after the body of a man was found in a flat in St George’s Road, Brighton, last Monday (16 July).
Although formal identification has not yet taken place, the body is believed to be that of 63-year-old Michael Polding, who moved to the seaside city only nine months ago.
His family told STV how he had struggled with his sexuality growing up in Glasgow, Scotland.
‘In the 1970s he decided to move to London where he felt it would be easier to live as an openly gay man. He spent many happy years in Croydon living with his partner Henry until he sadly died in 2001,’ the family said in a statement.
‘He worked at St George’s Hospital for 15 years in the urology department. He enjoyed working with people and helping them while they were receiving treatment.
‘Last year he decided to move to Brighton as he wanted to start a new life in the gay community in the city. Michael was a kind and caring man. Despite the distance between us he kept in close contact and we will miss him greatly.’
The circumstances surrounding his death are still not clear and a post-mortem showed that Mr Polding suffered multiple injuries.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick May of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team is leading the investigation.
He said police believe he may have died sometime in May and they are appealing for anyone who spoke to him then to come forward.
Detective Chief Inspector May said: ‘We are trying to build up a picture of his lifestyle in the city and would like to hear from anyone who knew him or knew of any friends or acquaintances he spent time with.
‘We know that he moved to Brighton because he liked Kemp Town and we are hoping that the residents and visitors to this area can now help us to find out more about his life.
‘Our investigation so far has led us to believe that his death is not linked to any hate crime as a result of his sexuality and that any assault he may have suffered was not as a result of a random attack.’
Anyone with information about Mr Polding is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Journal or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.