Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Man ‘murdered’ on his doorstep after being ‘sprayed in face with ammonia’

A man suffered fatal injuries in an attack on his doorstep during which he was sprayed in the face with ammonia – with police launching a murder investigation after the tragedy in Gateshead.

Just after 11pm on Sunday officers received a report via the ambulance service that a man had been assaulted at an address on Eighton Terrace in Wrekenton.

It was reported that two offenders had approached the property and knocked on the front door.

When the victim opened the door, he was then sprayed with what is believed to have been ammonia, with the suspects then fleeing the scene.

The victim – who can now be named as 26-year-old Andy Foster – was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

However, despite the best efforts of medical professionals, he has since died.

His next of kin have been informed and continue to be supported by specially-trained Family Liaison Officers.

An investigation was immediately launched into the incident with officers now treating the assault as murder.

Several enquiries are ongoing as police try to trace those involved and establish the full circumstances.

A 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. He has since been released under investigation, pending further enquiries.

Officers today appealed to the public for information that could assist the investigation.

Detective Inspector Tam Fowler, of Northumbria Police’s Major Investigation Team, said: “First and foremost, our thoughts go out to Andy’s family and loved ones after he has sadly passed away.

“This was a tragic incident and we will continue to support them in any way that we can during this exceptionally difficult time.

“Extensive enquiries are ongoing to establish exactly what has happened and how Andy has ultimately lost his life.

“While our investigation is at an early stage, it is believed that those involved are known to each other and there is no wider risk to the public.

“At this time, I am now appealing to the public for their help – and would urge any further witnesses or anyone with information to come forward to police as soon as possible.

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“Your support could prove vital as we look to find answers for Andy’s family.”

Officers remain in the area to carry out enquiries and offer reassurance to the public.

Anyone with information has been asked to speak with an officer on duty, use the ‘Tell Us Something’ page on the Northumbria Police website, or call 101 quoting reference number: NP-20230820-1369.

Members of the public can also report information anonymously by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting their website.

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