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Officers quiz man over pensioner's death

PUBLISHED: 08:49 10 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:01 03 March 2010

DETECTIVES are today still questioning a Lowestoft man after a pensioner was found beaten to death in his home in the town.

Bernard Thomassen, who was in his 70s, was found with extensive head and body injuries by police in the upstairs bedroom of his home in Haward Street at 4am on Saturday after neighbours reported a disturbance.

DETECTIVES are today still questioning a Lowestoft man after a pensioner was found beaten to death in his home in the town.

Bernard Thomassen, who was in his 70s, was found with extensive head and body injuries by police in the upstairs bedroom of his home in Haward Street at 4am on Saturday after neighbours reported a disturbance.

When officers arrived at the terraced house, another man there forced his way past them out of the front door and fled.

Despite a lengthy search by officers and a dog team they were unable to find him.

Detectives arrested a 32-year-old Lowestoft man at around noon yesterday and took him into custody for questioning.

Det Chief Insp Tim Beach said: "Police are continuing their inquiries and I would ask anyone living nearby who may have heard or seen anything to phone the police."

A post mortem examination by a Home Office pathologist on Saturday evening revealed that Mr Thomassen died of multiple injuries.

Last night the area around the house was still cordoned off and police were continuing a 24-hour watch over the scene.

It is thought that Mr Thomassen lived alone at the house and did not have any family in the area.

Neighbours said he had lived in Haward Street for some years and they were shocked when they found their street swarming with police on Saturday morning.

One close neighbour said it was "pretty scary" to find that such a serious incident had happened in their normally quiet street.

"I have seen the man who lives in the house a few times walking up and down the street and he seemed a very harmless person," she said.

"I think he lives alone and kept himself to himself. I did not hear anything in the night and I could not believe it when I saw the police here this morning.

"We are all in shock."

Another neighbour said her boyfriend had seen a man running up the street having pushed past a police officer.

An incident room has been set up at Lowestoft police station and anyone with information should contact detectives on 01986 835226.

The area was the scene of another alleged murder at the beginning of the year.

The blanket-covered body of 34-year-old Mark Button was found on New Year's Day two streets away from Haward Street, in a passageway between Love Road and Raglan Road.

Joseph Clark, 35, of Beresford Road, Lowestoft, is charged with his murder and is due to appear for trial at Norwich Crown Court on March 11.

Clark has denied murdering Mr Button and a separate charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm during a separate incident on November 2 last year.

He is in custody pending trial.


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