Man appearing in court charged with murder of antiques dealer Peter Battle
A MAN has been charged with murdering an antiques dealer who was found dead in his home.
Peter Battle was found in the lounge of his cottage in the East Riding village of Full Sutton last week.
Graham Richardson, 26, was appearing at Beverley Magistrates' Court this morning charged with murder.
Police believe Mr Battle, 56, could have been dead for weeks when his body was discovered after officers broke into his home. A post-mortem examination found he died from severe head injuries.
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The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) last night confirmed it had charged Mr Richardson.
Gerry Wareham, of CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "Following an investigation by Humberside Police, CPS lawyers received a file of evidence relating to the death of Peter Battle.
"A lawyer authorised Humberside Police to charge Graham Richardson with the murder of Peter Battle."
Mr Richardson, of Norton in North Yorkshire, has been questioned by detectives for five days following his arrest in Malton on Monday.
Police twice had to apply to magistrates to extend the time they could keep him in custody.
More than 100 officers are investigating Mr Battle's death and are continuing to search for a weapon that could have been used to kill him.
Detective Chief Inspector Alistair McFarlane, who is leading the investigation, said: "Our enquiries remain very much active and help from the local community and wider public is still something we are appealing for."
Police are also appealing for help to locate a silver and black Advent laptop that was stolen from the victim's home between the time of his murder and when his body was discovered.
They believe someone visited his home, Whisker Cottage, after his death.
Mr Battle's body was discovered last Thursday after a friend contacted Humberside Police when they were unable to get in touch in with him.
He was last seen alive on Boxing Day last year.
Police believe his work as an antiques dealer could be a possible motive for his killing.
Silver cutlery, rare coins, sovereign and half-sovereign rings have also gone missing from the house.
He was known to visit auction houses and car boot sales across the region and was a frequent user of the online auction website eBay.
Anyone with information should call Humberside Police on 101, quoting log 492 of February 7.