Murder probe after dad stabbed to death

Police outside the flat at Batemoor Road
Police outside the flat at Batemoor Road
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A MURDER inquiry has been launched after a dad-of-two was stabbed to death in his flat in Sheffield.

Gary Beech, aged 44, was found with fatal stab wounds in his ground-floor flat on Batemoor Road, Batemoor.

Neighbours told The Star of their shock at the violent murder of a ‘lovely’ man who ‘didn’t deserve it’.

A 31-year-old local man was arrested on suspicion of murder following the grim discovery of the body at around 3.30pm on Friday.

Last night he remained in custody while being quizzed by detectives.

The three-storey block of flats was taped off while forensics officers in white suits and wearing gloves combed the scene for evidence and took photos inside the property.

The window of the victim’s flat was open and clothes could be seen drying on an airer inside.

Further down Batemoor Road, police had cordoned off another block of flats.

Zoe Hancock, aged 40, who lives opposite Gary’s flat with her partner Alan Jolliff, said she last saw him alive three days before his killing.

The cleaning firm area manager added: “He always used to talk to us and have a laugh, we never had any problems with him.

“The last time I spoke to him was three days ago, I saw him and waved to him. He was kissing my hand, he said if I ever needed any help I could go and contact him.”

Zoe said unemployed Gary, who lived alone in the flat, had a son and daughter and once served in the Army.

“He was lovely, he wouldn’t harm anybody,” added Zoe, who has lived on Batemoor Road for 14 years.

“Alan and I always used to speak to him about our house, because we’re doing it up, but I’ve never been inside his flat.

“He was small-ish, about 5ft 4in with greying hair. He had his own personality. Whoever’s done this to him, he didn’t deserve it.”

Alan, 27, who works as a builder, said he would see Gary ‘most days’ outside his flat, yards away from Batemoor Ambulance Station.

Alan added: “He was quirky - he liked a drink. He’s got a couple of kids but I don’t think he’s in contact with them.

“He’d done everything, he’d been in the army, been a truck driver, a paint sprayer, everything.”

One resident, who didn’t want to be named, said she was shocked by the killing, and added: “You don’t know what the world’s coming to when things like this happen.”

Another resident, who also wished to remain anonymous, said: “This makes you feel a bit nerv- ous – it’s a bit close to home.”

A post mortem examination confirmed Gary died as a result of being stabbed.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 2202020, quoting incident number 683 of June 24, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.