Pals' shock at murder suspect's arrest

PALS of the man suspected of stabbing to death Stowmarket computer games fanatic Matthew Pyke today told of their shock at his arrest.

PALS of the man suspected of stabbing to death Stowmarket computer games fanatic Matthew Pyke today told of their shock at his arrest.

David Heiss is currently in police custody in his native Germany after he was detained last week by detectives investigating the brutal murder.

It has been claimed Heiss had fallen in love with Mr Pyke's girlfriend, Joanna Witton, after meeting her on the internet.

Ina Bar, a former class mate at the Tilemannschule school in Limburg, described Heiss as “a nice guy”.

She told The Evening Star: “I am really scared about hearing this stuff about David.

“I was in class with him for three years. I am shocked because David was a nice guy. I can't believe what happened.”

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She said 21-year-old Heiss had always been somewhat of an outsider during his school years.

Another friend, who met Heiss through their shared passion for the internet and gaming, admitted he had been amazed when he discovered the identity of the man police had arrested.

The friend, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “You would never have dreamt that David could be a suspect.

“He is just a nice guy.”

Heiss' mother, Betty, has also leapt to the defence of her son, claiming: “I can't believe that my son would ever do this. I love him very much.”

Mr Pyke was found dead by Miss Witton in their North Sherwood Street flat in Nottingham, 11 days ago.

German police have confirmed that Heiss, from the village of Dauborn, near Limburg, shared a passion for on-line computer games with Mr Pyke and Miss Witton, who ran a website dedicated to the game Advance Wars.

Heiss had visited the couple at their flat above The Orange Tree pub.

Mr Pyke moved to Nottingham two years ago from Stowmarket and was due to start a degree course at Nottingham Trent University next month.

A message from Mr Pyke's mother, posted on the Advance Wars Net Community at the weekend, reads: "Neither Nottingham nor the internet caused his death - this will all become clear.”

Would you like to pay tribute to Matthew Pyke? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk