A father killed at his home in the early hours of New Year’s Day after throwing a party has been named.
Paul Fletcher, known to friends as ‘Dod’, was found dead just before 1am after an alleged attack at his flat in Rayleigh, Essex.
A 39-year-old local man and two women, aged 25 and 23, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Paying tribute to the victim, close friend Crystalann Kelly, 35, told the Evening Standard: ‘He was always happy go lucky lad and we always had a laugh and joke.
‘He is a wicked dad to his son and I’m feeling sorry for him at this sad time.’
Sharing her grief on social media, Dod’s sister wrote: ‘RIP little bro.
‘I know we (didn’t) see eye to eye a lot of the time but you are still my little brother and I love you. Wish we made peace. Love u always.’
One family member said the victim, who was in his 30s, had been ‘mending his troubled life’.
They told the Sun: ‘He was incredibly passionate about supporting his family and friends. He never would let someone go without.’
Another friend posted: ‘R.I.P Dod Paul Fletcher I will miss seeing you around, my thoughts are with your family at such a sad time taken far too soon.’
A local resident told the Echo: ‘It’s not a bad area round here and there are lots of decent people, families and pensioners.
‘There are a few wrong-uns in some of the flats but you get that everywhere. I heard there had been a party and it all kicked off from there.
‘It’s a shocking way to start the year and to think that someone is being told that their loved one has died is really quite upsetting.’
Essex Police believe all people involved in the incident were known to each other. The 23-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.
A five-a-side football goal has been taped off along with the block of flats where Dod lived.
Sniffer dogs have been examining the scene and officers have been accompanying people in and out of the building.
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