A schoolboy has been beaten to death with nunchucks at a Halloween fancy dress party.

Ricky Butler, 15, was attacked outside the "pimps and hookers" themed get-together in the early hours.

Around 15 people aged in their 20s and teens has been at a party thrown by Ricky's brother Steve.

Neighbours heard screams after a row broke out near to the flat in Gorringes Brook, Horsham.

Blood could be seen on steps leading to the flats today.

Today Ricky's mother Sarah gave a brief statement saying only: "He was the best."

Neighbours and friends paid tribute to the schoolboy who had just started year 11 at local comprehensive boys' school The Forest School.

Police said Ricky and a 16-year-old boy were both attacked outside the party at 2am on Saturday moning following a "verbal altercation".

Both boys were taken to hospital by ambulance with head injuries.

Ricky, the youngest of three brothers, died in hospital on Saturday evening. The other boy has since been discharged.

Ricky had been dressed as a pimp for the party, complete with a purple feather.

One of his friends who lives in Gorringes Brook, which is just off Pondtail Road, left the feather with a floral tribute at the scene.

Neighbours reported hearing loud music and shouting coming from the party.

One said he heard screaming coming from the bridge over the brook which is opposite the flats.

Neighbours living by Ricky's parents home in Leith View Road, Roffey near Horsham, described a boy with "a blinding smile" and who was a "wonderful lad".

Teresa Richards, 29, who lives next door to the family's home, said: "Ricky was a lovely boy.

"He never did anything wrong and he didn't deserve what happened to him.

"I have known him since he was two-years old, when I first moved here, and I was like an auntie to him.

"He lived with his mum and two older brothers and they were a very close-knit family and would always look out for one another.

"He lived life to the full.

"I spoke to Sarah this morning. She said she couldn't cry any more. She said there's no more tears to cry."

Neighbour Patrick Doran, 38, said: "The family are devastated, I spoke to Sarah this morning, she is absolutely devastated by what's happened.

"It's a horrific end of a young life. Ricky had so much time for his mother. He was always looking after her. It's just a terrible shame that he went away like he did."

Police searched bushes and woodland opposite the flats for the murder weapon, which they believe may have been discarded and were nunchucks.

But by Sunday evening nothing had been found.

Nunchucks are an Oriental martial arts weapon of two sticks connected with a chain.

A specially-trained sniffer dog was brought in to help with the search, which officers said also involved a nearby property.

Appeal leaflets were dropped at houses in the area asking residents to contact police if they find the weapon.

DCI Adam Hibbert from the Sussex Police's major crime branch, who is leading the investigation, said: "This was a very serious incident involving a small number of people who had been at a party.

"It is believed that those involved were also known to each other.

"We would ask anyone who attended the party or who has information about this incident to contact officers at the Horsham police station incident room on 0845 60 70 999 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, quoting Operation Annscroft."

Richard Martin, 18, of Heath Way, Horsham, is due to appear before Crawley magistrates this morning charged with murder and ABH.