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Lewisham Gay Murder Appeal

September 5, 2005 12:00 AM

Detectives investigating the murder of a 44 year old gay man in Lewisham on Saturday 30 July 2005 are appealing for any information or witnesses to an assault. Police also want to hear from anyone who saw the man in the hours before his death.

The victim, who has been identified as Simon Pearse of Goodrich Road, SE22, was discovered at 3.20am on Saturday 30 July lying in the road outside Lewisham Theatre in Rushey Green, Catford.

He was taken by LAS to University Hospital Lewisham but later died due to injuries caused by a fractured skull. The murder is not being treated as a homophobic attack.

"We have taken expert medical advice as we were initially unsure what had happened to Mr Pearse. We believe he was assaulted and that the assault led to his death," said DI Tim Grattan Kane.

"We know that he was in Vauxhall shortly after midnight, early on Saturday morning. We know that he took a N36 night bus in Rushey Green shortly before he was attacked.

"It is vital that we speak to anyone who was in the area and who may have witnessed an incident or saw Mr Pearse in the area, either on the night bus or walking along Rushey Green in the direction of Lewisham Theatre, in the early hours of Saturday 30 July 2005.

"I am also keen to speak to anyone who saw Mr Pearse during the evening of Friday 29 July 2005.

"We know that Mr Pearse was a gay man and frequented clubs in the Vauxhall and Mile End areas. I have no reason at this stage to believe that this was a homophobic attack, but would appeal to anyone at venues on Friday 29 July 2005 to cast their minds back to whether they remember seeing Mr Pearse at any point."

Mr Pearsey was white, 5 ft 6 inches tall and of stocky build. On the night he died, he was wearing a black t-shirt, black leather jacket and a bandana.

DI Grattan-Kane said several men were seen running away from the Rushey Green area in the direction of Bromley Road, shortly before Mr Pearse was discovered. There is no further description of them at this stage.

He said police would also like to trace a black Hackney cab travelling east around the South Circular, the A205, towards Eltham.

"This cab was a short distance behind a Tesco lorry. The cab driver may have seen something and had to brake. We are appealing for the driver of this cab, who may have been going home at the end of a shift, to contact the incident room as soon as possible."

Anyone with any information should call DI Grattan-Kane on 020 8721 4054 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous. You can also call the GALOP helpline on 020 7704 6767.