THE PARENTS of a murdered 24-year-old have paid tribute to their son, saying “his guardian angel sadly lost sight of him” on the night he was killed.

Billy Henham, from Henfield, was found dead in a building in Brighton’s North Street on January 2.

Police said a post-mortem examination revealed he died after a sustained assault.

Four men and a boy have been arrested on suspicion of murder: an 18-year-old man from Greenwich, a 16-year-old boy of no fixed address, a 26-year-old man from Hove, a 25-year-old man of no fixed address, and a 19-year-old man from Croydon.

Sussex Police said they have all been released on bail subject to strict conditions and pending further enquiries.

In a statement, the family said: “Our son Billy was a man who walked his own beat. He was creative and independent.

“His gentle demeanour and belief that the world was a friendly place meant he made himself vulnerable at times.

“His guardian angel who had looked after him on so many other occasions sadly lost sight of him on New Year’s Eve.

“So many people have kindly shared their happy memories of him with us.

“Their love and kind words are giving us all huge support at this terrible time.”

Detective Chief Inspector Alex Geldart, from the police’s Surrey and Sussex major crime team, said: “My thoughts are with the family and friends of Billy at this very difficult time.

“Our investigation into his death continues at pace and at this time we would ask for anyone who may have information that might help our enquiries to come forward.

“We are particularly keen to understand Billy’s movements in the city on New Year’s Eve (December 31) from 6pm onwards.

“He left his home address in Henfield before travelling to Brighton.”

Anyone with information can to report it to Sussex Police online or call 101 quoting Operation Gatling.