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New leads in Michael Polding murder case after Crimewatch appeal
The net is closing on murder suspect Ricardo Pisano, according to police.
The South African, dubbed the Artful Dodger, is wanted in relation to the murder of Michael Polding, who was found dead in his Kemp Town flat in July.
Sussex Police is now working on a number of “interesting calls” after the case was highlighted on BBC’s Crimewatch programme on Thursday evening.
DCI Nick May, from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: “There was a good response with 17 calls coming into the Crimewatch studio and a number of calls to Crimestoppers.
“There were some interesting calls from people in areas where we know he has links. We will be prioritising the leads.
“In the meantime I would encourage anyone who knows where Mr Pisano may be to please contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Journal or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
The programme’s presenter Martin Bayfield warned: “You have been seen and we are going to find you.”
Reward A £5,000 reward has been offered for the arrest of Mr Pisano who also goes by the name Brandon Pillay and also calls himself Ree or Ricky.
He escaped from a New Zealand jail ten years ago where he was serving sentences for extortion and fraud.
He was known to adopt different accents and had previously been dubbed “the Artful Dodger” by the South African press.
The body of Mr Polding, 62, was found at his flat in St George’s Road, Kemp Town, Brighton, on July 16.
Police attended the flat after Mr Polding’s family raised concerns about his whereabouts.
On July 21 police announced they were launching a murder inquiry.
Mr Polding, who was openly gay, had been in a relationship with Mr Pisano who pretended to neighbours he was the older man’s carer.
Earlier this week, the Argus revealed how Mr Pisano had allegedly stolen medals from Mr Polding at his former home in Croydon, south London.
Martin Michalski lived with Mr Polding for 20 years in East Croydon before his friend moved to the south coast last year.
He said: “He would come around quite a lot. He and Michael had a bit of a relationship but when I saw him around I threw him out.
“He would come around while I was out at work during the day. I didn’t take to him. The only times I spoke to him were to throw him out.”
Mr Michalski claimed Mr Pisano stole war medals inherited by Mr Polding from his father but returned them when he could not find a buyer.