Ipswich: Friend pays tribute to man at centre of murder probe

IPSWICH: As detectives continued to quiz four murder suspects, a friend of Martin Edwards – whose body was found on Christmas Day – paid tribute to him.

The 45-year-old was discovered by a neighbour at Piper’s Court in Old Foundry Road, Ipswich, where he lived in a ground-floor flat.

Yesterday police and a forensic team were still at the premises looking for evidence.

The front door of a flat in Limerick Close, Ipswich, was also sealed off with police tape as part of the inquiry, and police were searching another house in Spring Road last night.

Detectives have not revealed how Mr Edwards, who was an alcoholic, died.

A post mortem has been carried out, but officers have said the cause of death will not be revealed until Mr Edwards’ relatives have been traced.

However, his friend Simon Dade, 54, of Geneva Road, Ipswich, said: “Martin was very gentle. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as peaceful as him.

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“Martin would help you if he could. If you didn’t have enough money for something, he would give you a couple of quid.

“He was a genuinely lovely person. I really loved him as a friend.”

Mr Dade learned of Mr Edwards’ death through another friend.

He said: “I’m extremely upset. One of my best mates is dead. It is just sinking in now.”

Although detectives have not revealed how Mr Edwards died, one person who knew him – but did not want to be named – said he believed Mr Edwards was being bullied.

Mr Dade also said his friend would often have a black eye and other injuries. Others believe he was beaten up on Christmas Eve, although police have not confirmed this.

Mr Edwards was said to have been living in Piper’s Court for around three months before his death.

On Boxing Day, police searched the flat in Limerick Close, where a man connected to the inquiry was said to have been living since last summer.

Yesterday morning, detectives were given a further 36 hours by Bury St Edmunds magistrates to question the three men, aged 28, 37 and 51, and the woman, aged 36, who have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

They are all from Ipswich. It is not believed that they lived in Piper’s Court, although one of the men was said to have been arrested in the communal area of the flats on the evening of Christmas Day.

Richard Jones, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, confirmed police believe they know the identity of the deceased, but still need to find his relatives.

He said: “It is thought Mr Edwards may have family in Suffolk, but officers are also looking at the possibility that he may have links in the Surrey area.” If you can help trace one of Mr Edwards’ relatives, telephone Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

n Did you know Mr Edwards? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

IPSWICH: Police and a forensic team descended on an end-terrace property in Spring Road yesterday afternoon as part of the murder probe.

One witness said he saw six people dressed in white overalls with white hoods enter the rented property.

In addition to the forensic team, what appeared to be four plain-clothed officers and three uniformed officers were seen to go inside the house or remain outside.

Neighbours said three men have been living at the premises.

The property is at the far end of Spring Road, opposite a BP petrol station, a few hundred yards from the roundabout with Woodbridge Road and Woodbridge Road East.

Police arrived at around 4pm, said one onlooker.

By 5pm, a van and two marked police cars were parked around 50 yards away from the property and an unmarked police car was directly outside it. Lights were on in the upstairs and downstairs rooms.

A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed the search of the property related to the inquiry into the death of Martin Edwards.