Police believe Plymouth man was killed by 'someone who knew him'
DETECTIVES investigating the suspected murder of an elderly and partially disabled man believe he may have been killed by someone he knew.
Michael Brincat, 76, was found dead on the floor of his Devonport home last Wednesday afternoon.
A community officer had been called to his second floor flat in Marlborough House on Granby Way after concern was raised about his whereabouts.
The officer had to break open the door when they got no response and found Mr Brincat's body inside.
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His death was being treated as unexplained but it was only once a post-mortem had begun that suspicions of foul play emerged.
A detailed forensic examination on Monday discovered signs of asphyxiation and police have begun a full murder inquiry.
Speaking at a press conference at Crownhill police station, Detective Superintendent Paul Burgan, Head of Major Crime Investigations, said: "We believe Mr Brincat was asphyxiated. We do not have a definite motive but I would like to stress that the person responsible probably knew the victim.
"Mr Brincat was last seen alive at his home address at 10:15am on Tuesday morning and we are keen to talk to anyone who saw him before or after this time.
"Our line of inquiry will be that he would have known his murderer."
Police are currently conducting a detailed forensic examination of the crime scene and collecting CCTV footage from around Marlborough House.
They stressed that the public can play a key role in bringing about justice.
"I know the local residents are a tight-knit community and I am sure someone within the community has information relevant to the investigation," said DS Burgan.
"I am appealing to those individuals to come forward and help us apprehend those responsible."
Mr Brincat, who was known locally as "Maltese Mike", had lived in the Devonport area for some time having moved to Marlborough House from a flat near Granby Green just eight months previously. He had moved from Malta to the UK as a young child.
He was said by residents to be partially sighted and a frequent visitor to the bookmakers on the corner of Marlborough Street.
Police described Mr Brincat as a "well-known character" who could often be seen going around the area in his mobility scooter due to the fact that he had difficulty getting around.
Chief Superintendent Andy Bickley reassured people that their investigation is treating this as a one-off incident.
"We believe this is an isolated incident and we have no information to suggest anyone else is in imminent danger.
"We have local neighbourhood officers carrying out reassurance patrols in the Marlborough Street area and if anyone has any concerns or questions I would encourage them to speak to the officers."
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference ED/13/718 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.