A barman was beaten and set on fire in what could have been a homophobic attack in Cumnock, Ayrshire.Police say that victim Stuart Walker may have been sexually assaulted before he was killed.
The body of the openly gay barman was found in the early hours of Saturday morning after he was walking home from a house party the night before.
The victim’s lifestyle is thought to be the reason he was targeted in the attack, though this is yet to be confirmed.
Divisional Commander John Thomson, Strathclyde Police said: “The victim’s lifestyle was the ‘main focus’ of his inquiries”.
Police say the victim had almost certainly known those who killed him at Caponacre industrial estate. Mr Thomson said: “I don’t think it was a random attack by someone who will strike again. I suspect Stuart may have known this individual or met this individual shortly before his death.”
As it stands there is nothing to indicate it was a hate crime, although police are not ruling anything out.
A Facebook page has been set up in memory of Mr Walker, with membership exceeding 10,000.