A man found bludgeoned to death in his home was a popular lawyer, it has emerged.
Martin Decker, 69, who died from a “severe blunt force head injury”, had spent decades working as a prosecutor.
He had played a key role in improving the prosecution of sex offenders on Merseyside, the Liverpool Echo reports.
His body was discovered by police after being called to his home in Birkenhead, in the Wirral, Merseyside on Sunday.
Mr Decker, who has been described as "polite, friendly and unassuming" and a "true gentleman", prosecuted criminal cases across Liverpool.
He was also a leading figure in the launch of an initiave designed to make the prosecution of rapists and other sex offenders more effective.
The Unity Team, which saw specialist rape investigators work side by side with expert lawyers, was set up in 2010.
The project aimed to encourage more victims of sexual violence to come forward and increase the number of successful prosecutions.
The team remains a key part of Merseyside Police’s work on sexual crime.
Mr Decker, who joined the Crown Prosecution Service in 1985, was one of three lawyers involved in the creation of the unit.
He was described as being a popular figure on the court network who managed significant prosecutions.
Siobhan Blake, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Mersey Cheshire, said: “We have been greatly saddened by the news of the death of our former colleague Martin Decker.
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult and tragic time.”
His death is said to have initially believed to have been non-suspicious.
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But the post mortem result indicated he had suffered a severe head injury, sparking a murder probe.
His home, in a luxury development, was cordoned off by police on Tuesday.
Forensics officers examined the scene while police carried out door-to-door inquiries.
His next-of-kin has been informed.
Police say "a number of lines of enquiry” are being investigated and are appealing for information.
Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Wilson said: “This is obviously a very a tragic incident and our thoughts are with Mr Decker’s family and friends.”
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