Hampshire & Isle of Wight

£10,000 reward to find Southampton Common killers

Nigel Price
Image caption Police think Mr Price may have been involved in an altercation with someone

A £10,000 reward is being offered to find the killers of a man who died from severe head injuries four months after being attacked on Southampton Common.

Nigel Price, 58, remained in a semi-coma at Southampton General Hospital after the attack in November 2009. He died on 23 March this year.

On the anniversary of Mr Price's attack police and Crimestoppers are jointly offering the reward for information.

His brother Tony described his death as a "terrible shock" to his family.

He said: "He was basically a kind-hearted man who would do anything for you.

"It was a terrible shock and we were all very upset to think something like this could happen to him.

"We now just want to know what happened and help bring those who did this to justice."

He added: "Someone must know something and I would urge anyone who does to come forward and contact the police and help put our family's minds at rest."

Specially-trained staff

Mr Price had been at the Cowherds Pub on the night of 13 November and was found in the park the next morning.

A passer-by discovered him in some bushes partially clothed.

Post-mortem tests confirmed he died of the delayed effects of the severe head injuries he suffered in the attack.

Despite following up dozens of leads and making appeals for various people seen on the common at the time to come forward, officers have been unable to solve the case.

Det Ch Insp Ben Snuggs said they were trying to find witnesses and anyone who was on the common on the evening of Friday 13 November into the Saturday morning.

He said: "This weekend we will have additional police officers in place on the common, including specially trained lesbian and gay liaison staff.

"I am particularly keen to trace two men who were seen just after 7am on 14 November.

"They were running towards the reservoir on the eastern side of the common."

Homophobic attack

He said both men were white, one was in his early 30s, 6ft tall and of a slight but muscular build. He had short, light coloured hair.

The other man was shorter, also in his early 30s, but with darker hair.

Both men wore lightweight dark anoraks over dark jeans.

Police believe Mr Price may have been involved in an altercation with someone at about 2045 GMT and was later seen by a couple in the park about 2130 GMT.

When the investigation first started, police thought Mr Price may have been the victim of a homophobic attack.

However, they have said they are keeping an "open mind" about why he was attacked.

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