Murder victim Clement could have been killed over cigarette sales 'sideline' (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Murder victim Clement could have been killed over cigarette sales 'sideline'
Detectives are working on the theory that Bradford grandfather Clement Desmier was murdered by burglars who knew he had a sideline selling cigarettes, the Telegraph & Argus can reveal today.
Mr Desmier, 68, known locally as Butch, was “brutally attacked” at his home in Rowlestone Rise, Greengates , which was found ransacked.
Detective Superintendent Mark Ridley, who is leading the murder, said it was possible that the killer or killers had known about his cigarette sales.
“We are aware that he has sold cigarettes in the past and that is a line of inquiry that the investigation is following,” said Det Supt Ridley, who appealed to anyone who had bought cigarettes from Mr Desmier to come forward to help build up a picture of his lifestyle.
The detective added: “It is a possibility that people were aware that he had cigarettes at his home address. It is not clear at the moment what the motive was for the murder or indeed the burglary that we believe occurred at the same time.”
He said officers were still trying to trace the two men reported to have been acting suspiciously outside Mr Desmier’s home in the early hours of August 23. His body was found by concerned neighbours later that day.
Det Supt Ridley said: “Mr Desmier was an elderly gentleman, a much-loved grandfather and father and he sustained a brutal attack that was completely unnecessary. His family are devastated by their loss and I would appeal to members of the public who have information to come forward.”
As police continue to appeal for information, Crimestoppers has also offered a reward of up to £5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the pensioner’s death.
Also yesterday police released CCTV images of Mr Desmier shopping in Shipley the day before his body was found.
Det Supt Ridley said: “We know that Mr Desmier left his home on Wednesday, August 22, with a good friend to visit a local farm shop, before returning home around 11am. He then made his way into Shipley town centre around noon where we believe he visited the bank and did some shopping, as captured within the CCTV.
“It is thought he then took a bus towards Greengates later that afternoon and returned home. Our focus is therefore upon anybody who may have seen him during this period, either shopping or on his way home.
“Likewise, it is important that we quickly hear from anyone who visited Mr Desmier that afternoon, that evening or the following day. If anyone has also seen him in the company of another person that day, we need to know about it.
“Even the smallest piece of information can help us to ascertain the circumstances which led to his death and ultimately those responsible.”
Anyone who has information is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team on non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on (0800) 555111.
Information can also be sent via text to a police SMS service on 07786 200805.
A 30-year-old man, who was arrested on suspicion of murdering Mr Desmier, was released without charge on Wednesday.