A man who escaped from a New Zealand prison 11 years ago is wanted by British police in relation to the murder of a man who lay dead in his flat for at least two months.
Brandon Victor Pillay, who walked off a Rangipo Prison detail on August 10, 2001, is being sought over the murder of Michael Polding, who was discovered in his flat in Brighton, Sussex, with serious chest injuries on July 16, police said.
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Pillay, who is thought to be about 35-years-old, had been living under the name Ricardo Pisano and used the nicknames Ree and Ricky.
Concerned relatives of Polding contacted police when he failed to contact them. The openly gay 62-year-old had moved to Brighton from London nine months ago, The Argus reported.
It was believed that Polding died in the middle of May and police said Pillay may know the last movements of Polding.
Sussex police spokeswoman Emily Bridges said it was not known how long Pillay had been in the country for or what identity he'd used to gain entry.
She confirmed that British police had been in contact with New Zealand police to help establish the identity of the South African, who was serving a 15-month sentence for extortion when he escaped Rangipo.
The escape led to him being called the "South African Artful Dodger" by South African paper The Star and "New Zealand's greatest prison escaper" by New Zealand's Sunday News.
Bridges said it was thought that Pillay had lived with Polding in Croydon, South London, for "possibly a couple of years" before the older man moved to Brighton.
The last known sighting of Pillay was at The Marlands shopping centre in Southampton on July 28 but he was known to have links in Croydon, Brighton, and Crouch End, North London.
"He could be anywhere," Bridges said.
Lead investigator Detective Chief Inspector Nick May said Pillay had portrayed himself as being a New Zealander, an Aboriginal Australian and an Italian. He did not have a criminal record in Britain although had been known to police in the past.
A 28-year-old man from North London was arrested on suspicion of murder on 22 July and has been bailed until 23 August, pending further enquiries, police said.
- © Fairfax NZ News