Man held over park stabbing murder

Witney Gazette: James Attfield was known as Jim to his family. James Attfield was known as Jim to his family.

Detectives investigating the murder of a "very vulnerable" 33-year-old man who was found with more than 100 separate injuries have made an arrest.

Essex Police say a 38-year-old man from Colchester is being held in connection with the death of James Attfield.

The victim, who suffered a severe brain injury in a traffic accident four years ago, died at the scene in Castle Park, Colchester, on Saturday morning.

A post-mortem examination revealed 102 separate wounds on his arms, hands, back, neck and head.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Werrett said: "I would urge members of the public to continue to call my team with any information they might have about the whereabouts of James Attfield or anything they may have seen or heard in the Castle Park area during the early hours of Saturday morning.

"This is very much a fast moving and on-going investigation which really needs information from the public."

Mr Attfield was a father-of-five, who had not been in contact with his children since he was severely hurt when he was struck by a car.

His mother, Julie Finch, described her son as a "bit of a loner" who was ''in the process of rebuilding his life'' when he died.

CCTV showing Mr Attfield's last known movements was released by detectives on Monday appealing to the public for help in finding out who attacked him and why.

It shows Mr Attfield at the River Lodge pub in Middleborough, Colchester. He left the pub at 10.09pm, leaving behind most of his drink, which his family says was unusual for him.

Police said they do not know where he went between leaving the pub and being found injured in Castle Park at 5.45am on Saturday.

At a press conference today Ms Finch spoke emotionally of how her son battled to get his life back on track following the car accident.

She said the family ''gave him his independence'', adding that they ''didn't fuss over him, because that wasn't what he wanted and it wouldn't have helped him''.

Ms Finch said she last spoke to Mr Attfield ''face to face'' last year ''about October time''.

When asked about Mr Attfield being a father of five and whether he was in contact with his children, Ms Finch said: ''After the accident he sort of had memory loss, and sort of wiped out basically six years before the accident.''

She said as they introduced information to him on the advice of doctors that ''he did get his children mixed up and think they were his brothers and sisters''.

Ms Finch added: ''Because the children were so young and he didn't really remember them, he hasn't had any contact since the accident, no.''

Ms Finch said her son was not a stranger to her in later years, saying: ''He knew we were always there.''

She said he wanted to be independent and lead his own life.

''He was always very quiet, and even as a child he was always a bit...cowardly, if you like."

Mr Attfield was a karaoke fan and supported MK Dons football club.

Reading from a statement, Ms Finch said: ''Jim was well liked and polite - everyone always had a good word to say about him.

''I would ask the public for any information they may have that could help the police with their inquiries. This to me seems a senseless and frenzied attack on a gentle, vulnerable young man.

''Please, if anyone saw my son on Friday please come forward. Someone, somewhere knows something. No matter how insignificant you may think it is please inform the police.''

Police are yet to disclose the nature of the offence on which the 38-year-old suspect has been arrested.

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