Police hunt South African connected with murder of elderly gay Scot

Detectives release photo of man wanted in connection with murder of Michael Polding, who was found dead in his flat in Brighton, England

Police hunt South African connected with murder of elderly gay Scot
15 August 2012

Detectives are appealing for help in tracing a man who is wanted in connection with the murder of an elderly gay Scotsman in Brighton.

Police officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team would like to speak to Ricardo Pisano, known as Brandon Victor Pillay, ‘Ree’ or ‘Ricky’.

Pisano is believed to have been friends with the 62-year-old, who lived in Croydon for 30 years before moving to the seaside town to start a new life in the city’s LGBT community.

Police believe the pair saw each other regularly in the Sussex area and spent time together in the period before Polding’s death.

A murder investigation was launched following the discovery of Polding’s body at his flat in St George’s Road, Brighton, on 16 July. It is thought that Polding may have been dead since May.

Pisano is described as being 5’6” tall, of slim build and aged around 35.

He may have grown a beard or be disguising himself in other ways since the photograph, featured above, was taken in early 2012.

Although originally from South Africa, he may have changed his accent, and also lived in New Zealand.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick May, who is leading the investigation known as Operation Journal, said: ‘We are still unclear as to when exactly Polding died and our enquiries have shown that Polding was friends with Pisano.

‘We think he may have information about Polding’s last movements, however we have been unable to find him so far.’

He added that Pisano has links to Brighton, Croydon, Crouch End in north London and Southampton where he was last seen on 28 July at Marlands shopping centre.

However, he could have since moved to other areas of the country.

‘He could be introducing himself under a number of different names and I would urge people to look at his photograph and contact police if they have seen him recently,’ DCI May said.

‘Any information, no matter how small, could be significant to our enquiry.

‘I would also like to appeal for Pisano to get in contact with Sussex Police directly.’

If you have any information on Pisano and his whereabouts, call Sussex Police on +44 101 quoting Operation Journal or Crimestoppers anonymously on +44(0)800 555 111.

Polding’s death was initially treated as unexplained but following a post-mortem on 21 July, a murder investigation was launched. The post-mortem showed that Polding suffered a number of injuries, which led to his death.

The victim was an openly gay man but police are not treating his death as a hate crime.

A 28-year-old man from North London was arrested on suspicion of murder on 22 July and has been bailed until 23 August, pending further enquiries.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Neil Patrick Harris is writing book to be published in 2014

Emmy winner's memoir described as 'a work of imaginative nonfiction'
No thumbnail available

Darling of US conservative movement certain anti-gay marriage advocates are losing freedom of speech

'People everywhere from politicians down to the lowliest person in our society... are terrified'
Italy sports magazine faces backlash over gay rugby cover
No thumbnail available

Facebook celebrates Pride with 28 new gay emoticons

Choose from a football player and his boyfriend, RuPaul and two moms and their kids in Facebook's new sticker collection
Mobile phone giant EE botches name change for trans customer

Mobile phone giant EE botches name change for trans customer

British cell phone giant EE promises to change rules so trans customers no longer have to provide gender recognition certificates to change their details
No thumbnail available

Is there hope for gay Jamaica?

GSN speaks to three leading Jamaican gay activists about their new prime minister, their legal challenge to the country’s homophobia, gay murders and more
No thumbnail available

Putin: 'Russia is not anti-gay, everyone just thinks we are'

Russian leader was forced to defend his anti-gay laws in front of the Human Rights Council
No thumbnail available

British Embassy proudly raises gay pride flag in Tel Aviv

To mark gay pride in Tel Aviv, the British Embassy is flying the gay pride flag to show their support
Pride Reports

Pride Reports

Celebrating LGBTI Pride around the world
No thumbnail available

BBC show Jonathan Creek accused of transphobia

British mystery drama is being called offensive after lead character made several jokes about trans people