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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 July, 2003, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Pub murder police seek carpenter
Michael Hughes
Mr Hughes died from head injuries
Detectives investigating the murder of a landlord in his Black Country pub are trying to trace a carpenter who fitted a safe at the property.

West Midlands Police stressed that the man they wish to speak to is not a suspect, but could have vital information to help officers catch the killer of Michael Hughes.

The 59-year-old father-of-five was found dead at the Royal Oak in Pelsall, near Walsall, in April.

A post mortem examination revealed Mr Hughes died from head injuries.

Bedroom access

Detective Inspector Mick Moore, who is leading the murder hunt, said: "We are trying to trace the man who fitted the safe, which was stolen from the pub during the murder.

"He was a carpenter from the Stafford area, known as Alan, and he fitted the safe five to six years ago."

The Royal Oak Pub, Pelsall
Mick Hughes had always wanted to run his own pub
Alan was described as white, about 5 ft 9 in, in his mid-to-late 40s and, at the time he fitted the safe, had dark hair with a centre parting.

It is believed he lived near Rising Brook Baptist Church in Stafford, possibly near to John Amery Drive.

"As part of our general inquiries, we need to interview all people with legitimate access to the pub's living quarters," Mr Moore added.

"Unfortunately we have not yet managed to trace Alan and, as he fitted the safe and had access to the bedroom where Mr Hughes was murdered, it is really important that we speak to him.

"He is not a suspect but I believe he may have vital information.

"I would like Alan, or anyone who knows his full name, or believes they know where he lives now, to contact the incident room at Bloxwich police station."

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