Question mark remains over nature of ‘suspicious’ pensioner death

Police at the scene where the body was discovered
Police at the scene where the body was discovered

The circumstances surrounding the death of an elderly man in a Co Down bungalow remained shrouded in mystery on Wednesday night.

Frank Bratley, 85, had been found dead on Tuesday afternoon. Police announced the news late that night, saying that they were treating his death as suspicious.

They had said that a post mortem would be carried out to establish how he died.

The police gave no further details last night about the case, such as why it was thought to be suspicious, or when the post-mortem was (or will be) carried out.

Mr Bratley’s body was found in the Old Forge area, on the eastern edge of Banbridge.

Carla Lockhart, recently-elected DUP MLA for Upper Bann, said the neighbourhood in which he lived was “very settled” and “very close-knit”.

Constituents in the area were “definitely shocked at the news” she said, adding that it had led to a degree of “unrest”.

“We’re waiting on more information from the PSNI and just reassuring people that police are investigating,” she told the News Letter last night.

It is believed Mr Bratley was English, had lived in Banbridge for about 20 years, and that his wife had died a few years ago.

UUP councillor Glenn Barr, representing the Banbridge area, said he had been “quiet, and kept himself to himself”.