Man held over burnt body on golf course

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A 21-year-old man was arrested today by detectives investigating the murder of a man whose severely burnt body was found on a golf course.

The man, from Hove, East Sussex, is being questioned in connection with the death of 37-year-old Stefan Welch after being held just before noon.

A post-mortem examination showed Mr Welch probably died from a blow to the head before he was found by golfers as they walked between the 17th and 18th holes at Dyke Golf Club on the outskirts of Brighton just before noon on Saturday.

Detectives believe he was murdered elsewhere before being taken to the golf club on the South Downs and set alight.

Mr Welch, who lived at the Phase One hostel in Oriental Place, Brighton, was known to police and was identified after a DNA sample provided a match on the national database.

Initial suspicions that Mr Welch had been mutilated proved false after detailed examination of the scene.

Officers believe a foot was removed by an animal as it dragged the body a few feet from the point at which his body was set alight.

A team of officers visited petrol stations in the area after it was established that some form of accelerant was used to torch him.

Police yesterday appealed to anyone who saw or talked to Mr Welch between Wednesday and Saturday last week to contact the investigating team.

Mr Welch was last seen at 2.30pm on Friday and police said it was "almost certain" that his body would have been transported to the golf club by vehicle.

Gavin Carey, 28, who used to live in the room next to Mr Welch, told the Brighton Argus: "He was a quiet lad, kept himself to himself but was in a bad way.

"Yet he was my friend and I would like to think he called me his friend. He was receiving a methadone script, and would have been on detox.

"It is awful to hear about him."