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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 January, 2005, 19:53 GMT
Barrel death 'unlawful killing'
The image of the murder victim
The 39-year-old died from a stab wound to his back
The death of a man whose body was put in a plastic barrel and pushed off Beachy Head, East Sussex, was unlawful killing, a coroner has said.

Orville Donovan Gordon, 39, who lived in south London, was found at the foot of the cliffs near Eastbourne in 2004.

An inquest in Eastbourne heard he was slashed across the face, stabbed in the back and attacked with a screwdriver.

Police believe he was killed in a revenge attack for a robbery. Nobody has been charged with the murder.

The inquest on Tuesday heard Mr Gordon died from a stab wound in the back which went through to his kidney.

When his body was discovered in January last year, Mr Gordon was found to have been bound and gagged.

Reluctant witnesses

Tests showed his body was placed in the barrel and rolled off the cliff.

Officers found his blood in a disused restaurant in Brixton.

Three men were arrested last year, but detectives found it difficult to gather witness statements.

Members of Mr Gordon's family living in Northampton, Jamaica and the USA helped police by supplying DNA to prove his identity and background details.

Det Insp Jeff Riley, of Sussex Police, told BBC South East Today said: "Initially we couldn't identify who he was.

"It took us some six weeks to identify him and trace him up to London.

"We then commenced inquiries up and around the Brixton area but again people were extremely reluctant to talk to us.

"It was extremely difficult for us to gather any witness information."

Cliff murder 'linked to London'
03 Mar 04 |  England
Seaside town holds key to murder
19 Feb 04 |  Southern Counties
Murdered man 'was drugs user'
30 Jan 04 |  Southern Counties

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