A decorator who filmed a homeless man being spray painted days before he was found dead says he is in need of police protection after being threatened by furious neighbours.
Michael Cash was found in Eston Cemetery on Wednesday after being attacked days earlier.
A shocking video uploaded onto social media by Aaron Jones of the homeless man being sprayed, is overlaid with a voice saying: ‘This is how we deal with beggars on the street’.
Speaking from his home, Mr Jones told The Sun: ‘I’m not responsible for his murder. I now need police protection.
‘I posted the video and I’m sorry for that, and I feel for the lad’s family.
‘But I wasn’t responsible for spraying him with paint – I just came out of the shop and took a video.’
Police have confirmed that the body found in Middlesbrough was that of Michael Cash (pictured)
Mr Cash (pictured) was spray-painted red by thugs and days later his body was found in Eston Cemetery
Flowers and cards have been left by the wall in Normanby, Middlesbrough, where red paint could still be seen at the spot where the man who was in his 30s used to sit
Mr Jones also said the people to blame for Mr Cash’s death were the people who ‘funded his habit.’
The video has since been deleted.
Flowers and cards have been left by the wall in Normanby, Middlesbrough, where red paint could still be seen at the spot where the man who was in his 30s used to sit.
Cleveland Police said it received a report about the assault on Sunday and a body was found a few minutes walk away in Eston Cemetery on Wednesday.
There were no suspicious circumstances, the force said.
A force spokeswoman said: ‘A post-mortem examination has been held and although the death is not being treated as suspicious police believe this man was the victim of a previous incident of assault which resulted in the man being sprayed with red paint.’
Detective Inspector Matt Hollingsworth said: ‘Police are aware of the speculation on social media regarding the cause of the man’s death but we are not linking the assault with his death.’
A retired couple stopped at the scene where the man was covered in paint to look at the flowers.
Cleveland Police said it received a report about the assault on Sunday and a body was found a few minutes walk away in Eston Cemetery on Wednesday
The shocking footage was uploaded to Facebook over the weekend but later taken down
The woman said: ‘I hope they catch whoever did it.
‘You used to see him in the summer, he used to sit out here with his shirt off getting a sun tan.’
Her husband added: ‘He was harmless, he was a really nice guy.
‘We never heard anything ill said about him.’
Anyone with information about the incident with the paint behind the Tesco store in Normanby is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.