In Brief

Man arrested after homeless man found dead following paint attack

Viral video shows Michael Cash being sprayed red days before his body was discovered in cemetery

A man has been arrested in connection with a spray paint attack on a homeless man who was found dead three days later.

Michael Cash, 32, was sprayed with red paint while sitting outside a Tesco Express supermarket in Eston, Middlesbrough, police confirmed.

A video subsequently posted on Facebook showed the attack, during which a man is heard saying “this is how we deal with beggars on the street” and “he’s not even a beggar”, the Daily Mail reports. 

Cash was found dead in Eston Cemetery just three days later, on Wednesday last week. Cleveland Police yesterday said that his death is not being treated as suspicious but that they had arrested a 33-year-old man on suspicion of assault.

The footage of the attack was posted on Facebook but later taken down, following an outraged response.

Tributes have poured in online for Cash, who “regularly sat outside the supermarket”, Metro reports.

In a statement last week, Detective Inspector Matt Hollingsworth said: “My thoughts are with Michael’s friends and family at this difficult time. We are investigating the paint attack on Michael that occurred on Sunday 9 September outside Tesco and we are aware of the obvious feelings of outrage that this incident has caused within the community.”

A JustGiving page has been set up to help pay for the funeral. The fundraising page, set up by local woman Vicki Gaffney, 38, reads: “It’s so sad to hear about Michael Cash (the homeless man) who we have all been talking about on social media over the last few days.”

More than £1,000 has been donated so far.

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