Murder victim died a ‘frightening death’: PSNI

Police at the scene of the murder in Broombeg View in Ballycastle
Police at the scene of the murder in Broombeg View in Ballycastle

A man who was murdered on the north coast has been named, as police say he died a “traumatic and frightening death”.

The 48-year-old man is Anthony McErlain.

Police at the scene of the murder in Broombeg View in Ballycastle

Police at the scene of the murder in Broombeg View in Ballycastle

Police said on Friday morning that a 33-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is assisting police with their enquiries, and as of about 7pm he remained in custody.

Senior Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Talbot said: “While we are awaiting the results of a post mortem, what is clear is that Mr McErlain suffered a traumatic and frightening death.

“I initially described this killing as a heinous crime and I stand by that assessment.”

His body was found in the Broombeg View area of Ballycastle at 8.30pm on Thursday evening.

Police at the scene of the murder in Broombeg View in Ballycastle

Police at the scene of the murder in Broombeg View in Ballycastle

Police announced that a murder probe was underway early on Friday morning.

North Antrim DUP MLA Mervyn Storey said: “Ballycastle is a close-knit community and this has shocked people in the area.

“The full details have yet to be established but it would appear that it was a particularly brutal murder.

“Whilst the police have made an arrest it is vital that anyone with information assists the investigation so the full facts can be established and whoever is responsible brought to justice.”

Police at the scene of the murder in Broombeg View in Ballycastle

Police at the scene of the murder in Broombeg View in Ballycastle

Sinn Fein Councillor Cara McShane said: “This was a brutal killing. It took place in a residential area of the town and at a time of the evening when people would still have been going about their daily business.

“The community here is shocked and saddened at this tragic incident.”

The PSNI said its investigation team is extremely keen to speak to witnesses or anyone who may have spoken to Mr McErlain over recent days.

In a statement, police said: “We would especially like to hear from anyone who was in the Broombeg area at any time between 5pm and 8.30pm yesterday and who may have witnessed or overheard an altercation or disturbance, in or around number 4 Broombeg View.

“The investigation team can be contacted on 101.

“Or if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details they can call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.”