Detectives are appealing for help in tracing an individual wanted in connection with the murder of a gay man in Brighton.

The body of Michael Polding, 63, was found at his home in St George’s Road, Brighton, on 16 July.

He lived in the Kemptown area – a part of the city known for its gay community.

Sussex Police want to question Ricardo Pisano, also known as Brandon Victor Pillay, in connection with the murder, which they believe happened in May.

Mr Pisano is from South Africa and has also lived in New Zealand. The two men were friends and spent time together in the period before Mr Polding died.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick May said: “At first Mr Polding’s death was treated as unexplained but following a post-mortem on Saturday 21 July a murder investigation was launched.

“Mr 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”.

Mr Pisano uses the nicknames “Ree” or Ricky” and is believed to have walked out of an open prison in New Zealand 10 years ago after being convicted of fraud offences.

The post-mortem showed that Mr Polding suffered a number of injuries which led to his death.

He was open about his sexuality but detectives say 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.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old man from north London arrested on suspicion of murder has been bailed until 23 August  – pending further enquiries.