Could strange cigarettes hold the answer to who killed Stephen in Worthing?
Somebody knows who murdered Stephen Frith. Somebody saw him violently assaulted and killed in his flat in Tarring Road.
One year on from the 58-year-old former jockey’s death, police still do not know who killed him, but Detective Chief Inspector Emma Heater believes cigarettes found at the scene could hold the answer.
DCI Heater said: “A neighbour noticed his door was open and found Stephen deceased on the bed.
“From there a murder investigation started.”
Today Stephen’s father, Sussex Police and The Herald ask readers one simple question: who killed Stephen Frith?
‘He was probably taken advantage of for years’
Police say Stephen was a small and vulnerable man who suffered from various congenital issues. While he had stable accommodation, Stephen was known to associate with the street community.
DCI Heater continued: “He was probably taken advantage of for years by other people in the Worthing area using his address for taking drugs or as somewhere they could sleep without paying rent.
“It was a bit of a sad life for Stephen, really.”
Did you see what happened to Stephen? Here is what police know at the moment
Voices were heard were heard in the flat
Despite his kind, gentle nature, someone killed him in a physical assault between Wednesday, October 25 and the early hours of Friday, October 27, 2017.
DCI Heater said police had reports of ‘multiple voices’ being heard during the period, male and female, but said they did not know whether all those people were involved in what happened to him.
She added: “More noises were then heard on the Thursday into the Friday. Multiple voices and Stephen was heard to be screaming in pain.”
Despite exhaustive investigations and four arrests, police still do not know why Stephen was killed.
Do the Rothmans cigarrettes hold the key to cracking the case?
The four people who were arrested all remain under investigation and have not been eliminated from enquiries, DCI Heater said.
“The other person we are trying to find is whoever the smoker of the Rothmans cigarettes is.
“There was an ash tray that had a number of cigarettes in and some of those were proper, tailor-made Rothmans.
“We’ve got DNA from that and it doesn’t match anybody on our databases, so we’re trying to find out who that person is.”
Asked why she thinks the Rothmans are significant, DCI Heater said: “The majority of the other cigarettes were roll ups and the flat and the bedsit appears to have had an element of being tidied up prior to the police attending.”
Can you help?
Can you help police? Did you see or hear anything at the flat between Wednesday, October 25 and the early hours of Friday, October 27, 2017? Have you heard anyone talking about what happened?
DCI Heater said: “We’re just waiting for that one person now to come forward to tell us what happened so we can then build on whatever they tell us.”
She told the Herald she understands people may be afraid to come forward, but said anonymity for witnesses and other protections could be put in place.
She just wants to catch who killed Stephen.
“It is just a very sad end for a man that actually didn’t have a very happy life.”
If you have any information, contact police online or on 101, quoting Operation Clyde.
Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers have put up a £10,000 reward for information that leads to the prosecution of Stephen’s killer.