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Cradley Heath murder probe: Tributes paid to 'caring, friendly and funny' father found dead at home

By Jordan Harris | Cradley Heath | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A man arrested on suspicion of murder has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act

Police forensic teams at the scene in Cradley Heath

Tributes have been paid to a 'caring and friendly' father-of-four found dead at his home as a murder investigation gathers pace.

A 47-year-old man, named locally as Martin Briggs, was discovered at his house in Corngreaves Walk, Cradley Heath, at 11.45am yesterday.

Residents today spoke of their shock while a close friend of the victim called him 'the nicest person you could ever meet'.

A man arrested on suspicion of murder has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

The 43-year-old was arrested from a vehicle in a car park in Oldbury at 6.20am yesterday morning.

He was arrested on suspicion of three separate assaults involving weapons, including a knife and metal bar, which happened from around 4pm on Sunday in Dingle Avenue, West Avenue and Poplar Close.

None of the victims received life threatening injuries and are understood to have known their attacker.

Following the man’s arrest, the body of another man, believed to be Mr Briggs, was found with fatal stab wounds at a property in Corngreaves Walk.

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It is believed that he had been killed some time the previous evening.

Police remain at the scene in Corngreaves Walk

After laying flowers at the scene with a card that read 'RIP Bro', Stuart Archer, 38, said: "I cant believe what has happened, I thought it was a sick joke or a mistake.

"I have known Martin for 30 years and he was the nicest person you could ever meet.

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"He was caring, friendly, funny and had love for his friends and family.

"I was only with him at the weekend and even though he had recently had his car taken, he was in good spirits, laughing and joking.

"It doesn't feel real what has happened. I don't know when it will."

Mr Archer told the Express & Star the victim had four children but lived on his own at Corngreaves Walk with his dog.

Another friend, Kieron Ratcliffe, 23, said: "He was always laughing and joking. He had a very dry sense of humour.

"He wasn't a drinker or a drug taker. He would just stick to the tea or coffee if you offered him a can of lager.

"He loved going out to play bingo and he just didn't have a bad bone in his body.

"He was a true friend and even though we aren't a big circle we were like family."

The scene taped off while investigations continue

Residents described the panic in the area after the shocking series of events.

WATCH Police at the scene

Police forensics arrive at Corngreaves Walk, Cradeley Heath.

A resident in Corngreaves Walk said: "We got back home yesterday and it was chaos with all of the police and ambulances.

"We don't know what has happened, nor does my neighbour, which is worrying for us. You hear different things but we haven't been told anything officially."

A resident in Poplar Close, who did not want to be named, said: "It is usually a very quiet cul-de-sac where not much happens but on Sunday I heard commotion."

Another Poplar Close resident said: "There was trouble on the street and somebody was hurt. There were ambulances out and our street was taped off."

Jordan Harris

By Jordan Harris
Senior Reporter - @JHarris_Star

Reporter covering Staffordshire/Walsall - also a keen gig goer

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