Detectives investigating the murder of a 57-year-old man believe it could be linked to an alleged assault on a teenage girl.
Sidney Cox died after being violently attacked at a house on Middleton Lane, in Thorpe, near Rothwell, on Saturday, August 24.
DCI Jon Morgan of Homicide and Major Enquiry team said the murder could have also been a case of mistaken identity and that members of the travelling community could hold the answers that would help bring Mr Cox’s killers to justice.
DCI Morgan said: “There are a number of parts to this investigation and I need people to come forward and give assistance. I am particularly keen to know more information about an alleged assault that happened at the Lee Gap Fair in Tingley on Saturday, August 24, and anyone that saw this take place.
“It is thought that an 18-year-old girl was assaulted and we believe this may be linked to Mr Cox’s death. Anyone who was there and, or, saw a fight or knows any of the individuals involved in the fight needs to get in touch.”
DCI Morgan also appealed for information about an incident which took place at Thorpe House Farm, on Middleton Lane, on the same day as the murder.
He said: “A group of people turned up at approximately 4.45pm. One of those who was there was described as wearing a grey tracksuit and was believed to be in possession of an axe. These men are not connected to the farm and it is believed their presence was linked to the incident at the fair.
“It is thought they turned up in a maroon coloured Ford Focus estate car. We are looking for anyone that may have seen a group of people outside the property or saw the vehicle described and where it went after the incident.
“No damage was caused to the property in this incident and no one was injured.”
Mr Cox was attacked at around 7.20pm. He was taken to Pinderfields Hospital before being transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where he died in the early hours of Sunday, August 25.
So far, eight people have been arrested in connection with the investigation.
DCI Morgan said: “We know that there were a number of people there who may have witnessed the first incident at the Middleton Lane address. We also know that many members of the travelling community attend the Lee Gap fair and we believe this community holds the key to achieving justice to Mr Cox’s family.
“We believe Mr Cox was simply in wrong place at the wrong time and that makes his death even harder to come to terms with. Mr Cox was a father and his death has hit his son and the rest of his immediate family hard.”
Anyone with information should call the Homicide and Major Enquiry team on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.