Search for clues continues after unexplained death in Hanley flat
FORENSIC experts were today expected to continue examining a flat where a 47-year-old man died after suffering head injuries.
Police say they are treating the death of Simon Hammond, who was found at his Matthews Walk flat, off Hordley Street, Hanley, as unexplained.
Investigators from Staffordshire Police cordoned off the road outside the block of flats where he lived and were expected to be gathering more evidence today.
Residents living in the area believe Mr Hammond was discovered by a family member at about 9am on Friday after they became concerned for his welfare.
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A Wainwright Walk resident said: "People say he has been murdered but I don't think anybody really knows what happened.
"I used to see him around quite a lot but I didn't really talk to him. It is a shame it has happened and knowing it happened right on our doorstep is quite scary.
"The police are always being called around here."
Her neighbour said: "There is always trouble over at those flats.
"The police have been wandering around all weekend so it is being taken seriously."
Jim Mitchell, aged 62, who has lived in nearby Well Street all his life, added: "I think people around here are quite shocked at what has happened.
"I was raised here and I have never known anything like this happen."
Staffordshire Police has now launched an appeal for witnesses to contact them.
Officers initially described Mr Hammond's death as suspicious but yesterday said they were treating it as unexplained.
Chief Inspector Jeff Moore, Local Policing Team Commander for Stoke-on-Trent South, said: "A detailed investigation is under way and we are appealing for anyone who knew Mr Hammond and saw him recently to contact us.
"Neighbourhood officers are carrying out high visibility patrols in the area and I would encourage anyone with concerns to approach them.
"Local officers will be keeping local residents informed and reassured.
"Mr Hammond's family have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers."
Police are urging anyone with any information to contact them on 101, quoting incident number 135 of February 15.
Alternatively, contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.