Full Sutton murder case: 'Peter Battle wasn't a man who ever had enemies'
A FRIEND of a man who was murdered in his own home has said he did not have any enemies.
Antiques dealer Peter Battle, 56, had been lying dead in his cottage in Full Sutton for weeks when his body was found by police.
Detectives believe his work may be connected to a motive for his murder.
Lez Briddon, who has known Mr Battle for 15 years, said: "I am totally shocked. He was not a man who ever had enemies.
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"He got on well with everybody and was always a happy man. I last saw him just before Christmas and he was as happy as ever."
Police were yesterday granted more time to question a 26-year-old man who has been arrested on suspicion of murdering Mr Battle.
Officers now have until this evening to decide whether to charge the man with any offences or release him on bail.
Detectives believe silver cutlery, rare coins, sovereign and half-sovereign rings and a black and a silver Advent laptop may have been stolen from the house since Mr Battle died.
There was no sign of a break-in at Whisker Cottage, where Mr Battle was found dead in his lounge last Thursday.
A post-mortem examination found he died from severe head injuries. More than 100 officers are now working to try to solve the murder.
Detective Chief Inspector Alistair McFarlane, leading the investigation, said: "It is a shocking crime and it must be extremely shocking for the residents in Full Sutton.
"We have officers liaising with the family and informing them as soon as there are any updates."
Det Chief Insp McFarlane said Mr Battle would regularly visit auction houses across the region and would also use the auction website eBay.
Mr Briddon, 46, said he would often see Mr Battle at car boot sales.
"I hadn't seen him at one for weeks, the last time was just before Christmas," he said.
"He would go to the car boot sales and buy things like pocket watches and other collectable items to sell.
"I noticed I hadn't seen him there for weeks and I won- dered where he had got to.
"I couldn't believe it when I found out what had happened to him. It was a total shock.
"He was very socially orientated and was always getting involved in events. I know the police have said what's happened might be related to antiques, but I don't know why anyone would do this."
Det Chief Insp McFarlane said officers are keen to hear from anyone who has been offered antiques in recent weeks.
He said police were speaking to auction houses as well as eBay, to see if anyone had been attempting to sell the items that were stolen.
Mr Battle's last transactions on eBay were in mid- December.
Det Chief Insp McFarlane said: "I would appeal to anyone who has been offered any gold or silver jewellery or antiques to come forward with any information they have.
Officers are also searching undergrowth on the road between Full Sutton and the A166.
The man who was arrested, who is from Norton, North Yorkshire, was last night being questioned at a police station in Hull.
Anyone with information is should call Humberside Police on 101, quoting log 492 of February 7.