John Roberts murder inquiry: Man released without charge

John Roberts John Roberts was found with head injuries in his home in December 2012

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A man arrested by police investigating the murder of a football badge seller accused of abducting a 14-year-old girl has been released without charge.

John Roberts, 32, was found with head injuries in his home in Park Terrace, Winlaton, Gateshead, on 16 December 2012.

He was last seen after appearing in court on the abduction charge.

Nine people arrested during the inquiry have all been released without charge.

The latest of them, a 43-year-old man, was arrested in January on suspicion of murder. Northumbria Police said he had now been released with no further action.

In December, Northumbria Police said they had spoken to more than 5,000 people during the 12 months of the investigation into the death of Mr Roberts, who sold football badges for a living and was known as John 'The Badge' Roberts.

It is believed there was no sexual element to the abduction charge.

Det Supt Roger Ford, of Northumbria Police, said: "Information from the public may prove to be key with this investigation and one lead or one piece of information could be a vital breakthrough we need to locate John's killer."

He urged anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they thought it might be, to share it with the police.

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