Michael Polding death: Reward to trace Ricardo Pisano

Ricardo Pisano
Image caption Ricardo Pisano is also known as Brandon Victor Pillay

Police investigating the death of a man from Brighton have offered a £5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of his friend.

The body of Michael Polding, 62, was found at his flat in July and he is thought to have been dead since May.

Sussex Police want to talk to Ricardo Pisano, also known as Brandon Victor Pillay, in connection with the death.

Det Ch Insp Nick May will appeal for information on BBC One's Crimewatch programme on Thursday night.

Mr Polding moved to the Kemptown area of Brighton - a part of the city famous for its gay community - about 10 months ago where he felt more comfortable living as an openly homosexual man, his family said.

South African accent

A post-mortem examination found Mr Polding, from St George's Road, suffered a number of injuries.

Sussex Police do not believe his death was a random attack or linked to any hate crime as a result of his sexuality.

Image caption Mr Polding was friends with Mr Pisano and spent time with him in the period before he died

Det Ch Insp May said his death was treated as unexplained at first but changed to a murder inquiry after the post-mortem examination.

"It is now four months since Michael died and his family are anxious for answers about what happened to him," he said.

"We are still unclear as to when exactly Michael died and our inquiries have shown that he was friends with Mr Pisano.

"We think he may have information about Michael's last movements, however we have been unable to find him so far."

Mr Pisano, believed to be in his 30s, also calls himself Ree or Ricky and has a South African accent. He has links to Croydon, Crouch End in north London, Southampton and New Zealand.

He is believed to have walked out of an open prison in New Zealand 10 years ago after being convicted of fraud offences.

Last week a 28-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder was told by Sussex Police no further action would be taken against him.

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