Murdered pensioner suffered ‘vicious’ beating in Co Down home

PSNI trying to establish if Michael Kerr disturbed intruders or if vendetta behind attack

The body of 68-year-old widower Michael Kerr was discovered in his house on Birch Drive in Bangor on Tuesday. He had suffered injuries to his skull and face.

The body of 68-year-old widower Michael Kerr was discovered in his house on Birch Drive in Bangor on Tuesday. He had suffered injuries to his skull and face.

 

A pensioner who was found dead inside his Co Down home was the victim of a “vicious, sustained and violent beating”, the police have said.

The body of 68-year-old widower Michael Kerr was discovered in his house on Birch Drive in Bangor on Tuesday. He had suffered injuries to his skull and face.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has launched a murder inquiry.

“Mike’s body showed no sign of defensive injuries and he is likely to have been utterly defenceless in the face of the violence he faced,” said Det Supt Jason Murphy.

“I do not know at this stage how many people attacked Mike or whether Mike knew them. There is no sign of forced entry to the house and that leaves two likely scenarios - either Mike let his killers into his home or the doors to his house were not locked.”

Det Supt Murphy said police were keeping an open mind as to the motive for Mr Kerr’s murder, but they do not believe it was a paramilitary-style attack or sexually motivated.

“We are currently considering whether Mike was attacked because he disturbed intruders in his home or that he was murdered because of a personal vendetta,” he said.

While there is “no evidence at this stage” to suggest that the public are at risk, he said, “I am asking the public to be vigilant and to continue to take some simple precautions. External doors should be locked when not in use; cold callers should be identified and checked and any suspicious activity should be reported to police.”

Movements

Det Supt Murphy said he is keen to precisely establish Mr Kerr’s movements during the last days of his life - especially between 8am on Saturday and 4pm on Tuesday. He appealed to anyone who may have seen Mr Kerr in the Bangor area to contact them. He also made a number of specific appeals for information around bloodstained clothing and the weapons used in the attack.

“I believe that whoever killed Mike will have been bloodstained when they left his house. In recent days they may have disappeared or begun acting strangely,” Det Supt Murphy said.

While police “have not yet fully established what weapons were used” in the attack on Mr Kerr, he asked the public “to help us to identify potential weapons that may have been discarded after his murder”.

“I believe that answers to Mike’s murder lie within the community and I am appealing for the public’s help in identifying those responsible this vicious attack.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bangor PSNI station on 101 or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.