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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 November, 2003, 18:39 GMT
Paedophile found dead in home
Arnold Hartley
Arnold Hartley had been jailed for 12 months in 2001
A convicted paedophile has been found battered to death in his home.

The body of sex offender Arnold Hartley, 73, was found early on Saturday morning at his home in Redcar, Teesside.

He had suffered serious injuries to his head and face, and police have launched a murder hunt.

A 28-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were arrested on Sunday, but were later released "unconditionally".

A Cleveland Police spokesman said it was not possible to say whether Hartley was the victim of a vigilante attack.

Hartley was jailed for 12 months in 2001 for making indecent images of a girl under the age of 14 and gross indecency.

'Medium risk'

Cleveland Police held a press conference on Sunday at which Detective Superintendent Brian Dunn said Hartley had lived at his home in Queen Street for many years and was well-known in the community as a sex offender.

He was released in April 2002 and returned to the area where he moved back into his former address.

Mr Dunn said Hartley was on the Sex Offenders' Register and was considered a "medium risk".

He said there had been "previous problems" at the address and Hartley had been subjected to harassment.

There was a disturbance shortly after midnight on Saturday in Queen Street and police have appealed for help in piecing together what happened.

Mr Dunn said: "This is a murder inquiry and obviously Mr Hartley's previous conviction will form part of the inquiry.

Forensic experts

"But whatever he has done in the past does not give people the right to attack and kill him."

A neighbour said Hartley's home had been the subject of many attacks but he had once claimed he did not have any enemies.

Cal Birkbeck, owner of the Castle Hotel said Hartley gave up replacing his broken windows because they had been smashed so many times.

On Sunday, three police cars were parked in front of the house with another in a back alley.

The front door was hidden by a tent and forensic experts were working around the property.

Police officers carried out house-to-house inquiries.

Three floral tributes had been left in front of the house.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Sophie Hutchinson
"He'd suffered serious injuries to his head and face"



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