MURDER INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED FOLLOWING VENTNOR DEATH

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UPDATED: A street in the seaside town of Ventnor has been cordoned off by Police this morning (Christmas Day) following what is understood to be a suspicious death. 

Pier Street has been closed and sealed off as investigations get underway into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Several ambulances and multiple Police units all responded to the town centre at around 00:25 and by 02:45 a private ambulance was seen to leave Ventnor with a Police escort.

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Reports circulating in the community indicate the victim may have been assaulted and it is thought Hampshire Constabulary are treating the death as suspicious.

UPDATE @ 09:30 – A 26-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is in Police custody following the death of a man in Ventnor.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary has said:

“Officers were called just after midnight this morning (December 25) to a report that a man has been assaulted.

“Officers attended and sadly a man was pronounced dead at the scene.

“An area of Pier Street has been cordoned off as part of the investigation.

“A 26-year-old man has been arrested in connection with this incident and is currently in police custody”

Detective Chief Inspector Philip Scrase has said:

“We are in the early stages of this investigation into a man’s death, which is being treated as suspicious.

“I would like anyone who has any information about what has taken place to contact us as soon as possible.

“We are not in a position to confirm the identity of the deceased or any further details relating to the incident at this stage”.

UPDATE @ 10:42 – Specialist forensic officers from the mainland have arrived in Ventnor to conduct a finger-tip examination of the scene.

An area of particular interest to Police – and where the assault is thought to have taken place – is outside The Rose Inn pub and the former Southern Vectis bus depot.

The exact circumstances of the incident remain unclear.

Pier Street is closed and is likely to remain so into this afternoon.

UPDATE @ 21:20Island Echo understands the victim of this morning’s assault was a serving prison officer at HMP Isle of Wight.

The man – thought to be around 57-years-old – is said to have been with members of his family at the time of the tragic incident.

Detectives are thought to still be questioning a 26-year-old man arrested in connection with the death.

UPDATE MONDAY @ 08:30 – Pier Street has now reopened to traffic and pedestrians.

No further information has been released by Police.

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