Ahead of the first anniversary of his death, Mike Kerr’s relatives described the pain of living with the knowledge that the last voice he heard belonged to someone who killed him.
The badly beaten body of the 68-year-old widower was discovered on November 19th, 2019 by neighbours who became suspicious when he had not taken in the bins from outside his Birch Drive home in Bangor.
Mr Kerr worked as a TV and radio announcer for BBC Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s.
“On 19 November of last year our family received the devastating and life changing news that our dear brother Mike Kerr had been brutally murdered,” his family said in a statement.
“Mike was a harmless and defenceless 68-year-old man who kept himself very much to himself. He was a creature of habit and followed his regular routine for six days of the week. His neighbours could set their clocks by him.
“Every morning at 9.15am he left home to get his groceries for that day. By about 10.15am he would be back home where he would settle down to complete the crossword in The Times newspaper.
“However, this all changed for us in the blink of an eye when we received the fateful call from the police. No-one expects to hear that their loved one has been murdered but for us, this suddenly became our life.
“Those who cruelly and brutally took Mike’s life didn’t give him a second thought. They didn’t care about the terror and pain they inflicted on him in the final moments of his life. He didn’t stand a chance.
“In the long intervening months we have had to live with the knowledge that the last voice and face he heard and saw was that of his killer or killers.
“So today we are appealing to you for help. We are asking those who took Mike’s life to look into their hearts and consciences and do the right thing – come forward to police.
“To those who know who killed Mike, and there will be someone, we ask you to think about how you would feel if it was your husband, brother or uncle.
“Wouldn’t you want their killer or killers to be brought to justice? Wouldn’t you want the closure of finally knowing who was responsible for such a callous act?”
Crimestoppers has offered a reward of up to £10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone linked to the murder.
Detective Chief Inspector Michelle Shaw said: “Michael, who was known as Mike, was a defenceless older man and he was subjected to a vicious and cruel attack receiving multiple injuries to his head and body.
“I believe that Mike was murdered some time between 2pm on Sunday 17th November 2019 when he was last seen, and the morning of Monday 18th November when he failed to leave the house according to his normal routine.
“I still believe that answers to Mike’s murder lie within the community and I am appealing for the public’s help.
“Mike’s killers would have had bloodstained clothes and you may have noticed someone you know acting strangely.
“I am appealing to the public to help us remove whoever murdered Mike from their community by bringing any information they have to either the police or to Crimestoppers.”