Well known gay figure murdered in Oxford

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Two people have been arrested over the murder of a well known man on the Oxford gay scene.

Detectives are remaining quiet over the death of Guy Thomas, 41, whose body was found in a flat in Cowley, Oxford, on Friday.

Mr Thomas, 41, died from loss of blood from a head injury. Police believe he had been assaulted. A man aged 32 and woman aged 33 were arrested on the weekend. Yesterday, magistrates gave them until midday today to continue holding them.

Neil Ritchie, landlord of gay pub The Jolly Farmers, in Paradise Street, told the Oxford Mail: “Mr Thomas was in here early last week”

“He used to be well known on the gay scene before I took this pub over, about five years ago. “He disappeared for a while, I don’t know if he left Oxford. He has reappeared in the past six months. He came here infrequently.”

Mr Thomas was also known at The William Morris Pub, in Templars Square. Customer James Keavney, 53, said: “He used to drink in here occasionally. Normally he would come in here on his own, sometimes with a couple of friends.”

“I saw his picture in the Oxford Mail this morning. He was harmless. He would come in here, have two pints, then he would be off again.”

Another William Morris regular added: “It’s terrible, isn’t it?

“I used to see him come in here now and again.” A Pound Way resident said: “At about 2.30am to 2.45am on Friday I head a scream which sounded like a woman, but I didn’t take any notice of it, because you hear a lot around here.

“I came out of my flat at around 10am on Friday and saw the police. I was very surprised because there were all the cop cars, and I didn’t know what was going on, then I saw the forensics teams.”

“Some bloke came up and said they had found a body then CID officers came to see me on Saturday, and I told them what I have told you.”

Police spokesman Kate Smith said: “We have had information from the appeal and are following this up.”

She could not speculate on whether the suspected assault had been a homophobic attack.