A £10,000 award is being offered to anyone who has information to solve the death of a gay man who was attacked in Southampton a year ago.
Nigel Price, 58, was found on Southampton Common on Saturday November 14th 2009 with severe head injuries. He had been at a local pub the night before and police believe he was attacked before 9.30pm.
Mr Price was gay and the area where he was found was known as a gay cruising spot.
He died in hospital four months after being attacked. A post mortem examination confirmed he died of the delayed effects of the head injuries he received and a murder inquiry was launched.
This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the attack and police have been unable to solve the case. Two men were arrested in April but were released without charge.
Detective Chief Inspector Ben Snuggs, leading the investigation, said: “This weekend we will have additional police officers in place on the Common, including specially trained lesbian and gay liaison staff, helping us to identify witnesses who were either in the area at the same time last year or have since heard from others about what happened to Nigel. Any information you provide will be treated sensitively regardless of the reason for your visit to the Common.”
He added: “I want to encourage anyone who was on the Common on the evening of Friday 13th into the morning of Saturday November 14th 2009 to contact us. You may have vital information that will help us solve this murder.”
DCI Suggs said he was keen to trace two men who were seen in the area shortly after 7am on November 14th. The pair were seen running towards the reservoir on the eastern side of the Common.
Both men had white skin. One was in his early 30s, 6ft tall with a slight build but muscular. He had short, light coloured hair and wore a lightweight, dark coloured anorak over dark jeans. The shorter man was also in his early 30s, about 5ft 8inches tall, darker hair wearing a lightweight dark coloured anorak over dark jeans.
Police say Mr Price was at the nearby Cowherds Pub until about 8.20pm the night before he was found injured. It is thought he may have been involved in an altercation with someone at about 8.45pm. A couple reported seeing an injured man in the park about 9.30pm.
The £10,000 reward is being offered by Crimestoppers and Hampshire Police for information that leads to a conviction in the case.
Information must be given through Crimestoppers (0800 555 111) to claim the award. Anyone with information can also contact the Operation Levy Team at the Major Crime Department at Hulse Road on 101 or through the Gay Community Health Service on 023 80 515238.