Saturday 18 November 2017

18-year-old held over ‘horrific death’ of gay barman in Scotland

Andy Philip

AN 18-YEAR-OLD man has been detained by police investigating the death of barman Stuart Walker.

Strathclyde Police confirmed the man was taken into custody on Thursday evening, less than a week after Mr Walker's body was discovered at an industrial estate in Cumnock, Ayrshire.



A police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that an 18-year-old man is currently detained in connection with this inquiry."



Mr Walker, 28, died after suffering what police describe as "horrible injuries".



His body was discovered shortly before 5am on Saturday.



Detectives have not discussed specific injuries in case it was "prejudicial in the future", but reports have suggested Mr Walker, from the town, was beaten and burned before his death.



Officers said there was nothing to suggest Mr Walker had been the victim of a homophobic crime but were not ruling anything out as no clear motive had been established.



They do not believe it was a random attack.



The barman's death sent shockwaves through the local community.



Facebook pages were set up in his honour, with posts from friends and family as well as from strangers as far afield as California, France and Finland.



Thousands more took to Twitter to write messages of condolence to his family.



David Cameron urged the public to help solve the murder after Labour MP Sandra Osborne for Ayr, raised his case at Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons.



Sending his condolences to Mr Walker's family, Mr Cameron said: "It was once said that the police are the public and the public are the police.



"The police cannot solve crimes without the help of the public and I hope everyone will co-operate in the best way they can."



First Minister Alex Salmond told MSPs at Holyrood: "I think it was a shocking incident.



"The police are responsible for the conduct of the inquiry but they have said publicly that they anticipate a positive conclusion of their inquiries.



"I think it remains for the Parliament to offer condolences to the friends and family of Mr Walker."



It emerged yesterday that Mr Walker had been questioned over an alleged incident involving a 12-year-old boy in August and a report was sent to the procurator fiscal.



Police said there did not appear to be any link between the claims and Mr Walker's murder.



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