Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hate Theory

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hate Theory

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sarah Knapton

A walker told today how he found murder victim Lee Phipps slumped in a doorway.

The man, who did not want to be named, had been walking his dog shortly after 5pm on Thursday.

As he passed the bungalow on Cleadon Hill Road, South Shields, he noticed a man and went to see what he was doing

He said today: "I thought he looked a bit suspicious but when I looked closely I realised he was bleeding and that he was dead."

Lee was found stabbed to death on Cleadon Hill Drive. The 31-year-old, of King George Road, South Shields, had been out taking pictures of the snow.

Both Mr Phipps and his mother, Barbara Yusuf-Porter, whom he lived with, had often complained to police about racist abuse.

Police said they were looking into racism as the motive and appealed for information about a possible vendetta against Mr Phipps and his family.

Mr Phipps had been badly beaten and left needing hospital treatment in an attack last year.

Forensic officers were returning to the scene to try to find the exact location where the stabbing happened. Det Supt Steve Wade said: "We know that Mr Phipps died at the spot where he was found but we do not know if that was where he was stabbed. So far we have been unable to establish a location for the attack. Forensic officers are back out on the scene today.

"We understand the family has suffered several racial attacks recently."

Open ground near to Cleadon Hill Drive is still sealed off although the street has been reopened. Det Supt Wade added: "Because of issues raised in the past by Mr Phipps and his mother, we have to treat this as a possible racist murder but we are still keeping an open mind."

Mrs Yusuf-Porter whose family came to South Shields from Somalia after the Second World War, even set up a website, South Tyneside Against Racism, in March last year asking victims of racial abuse to come forward. …

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