Murder investigation launched following death of retired lawyer

Eleanor Barlow, PA
·3-min read

A murder investigation has been launched following the death of a retired lawyer.

Former CPS senior lawyer Martin Decker, 69, was found dead at his home in Birkenhead, Wirral, where he lived alone, at about 5.20pm on Sunday, Merseyside Police said.

A force spokesman said a Home Office post mortem revealed the cause of death as a severe blunt force head injury.

A number of lines of inquiry are being pursued, police said, and CCTV, house-to-house and forensic inquiries are being carried out near the home in Vyner Croft.

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Mr Decker worked for CPS Mersey Cheshire as a senior lawyer from 1986 until he retired in 2012.

One of his key roles was his involvement with the Unity team in Merseyside, which brought together rape and sexual offences lawyers with police so they could work alongside each other on the type of offending.

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.”

Martin Decker (Merseyside Police/PA)
Martin Decker (Merseyside Police/PA)

In a statement, Mr Decker’s family said his life was spent “working hard on behalf of other people and for their benefit”.

The statement said: “He managed a team of lawyers at the CPS, all of whom loved and admired him, they would go the extra mile for him to meet his high standards.

“Martin worked hard but played hard too. He loved travel and sport; he was so happy his beloved Tranmere Rovers Football Club have been doing so well this season.

“He is loved by all and his passing will leave a massive hole in our lives which can never be filled. He will be dearly missed by his mother and all his brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and all family members.”

Tributes were also paid by Tranmere Rovers Football Club to Mr Decker, who was a keen supporter of the club.

A statement on the club’s Twitter account said: “Everyone at Tranmere is shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden and tragic passing of long time season ticket holder Martin Decker.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.”

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.

“The investigation is in the very early stages and we are currently working to establish Mr Decker’s movements on the Saturday and Sunday (March 6 and 7).

“Vyner Croft is only a small cul-de-sac and I am keen to establish if there was anyone seen in that road or any of the surrounding roads acting suspiciously prior to the discovery of Mr Decker’s body.

“I would ask anyone, including delivery or taxi drivers, who were driving in the area in the past few days to check their dash cam to see if they have captured anything significant.

“I would also ask anyone who may have mobile phone or CCTV footage to get in touch as they may be able to assist our investigation.”

Information or video footage to assist the investigation can be sent to: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/05MP21M40-PO1 and anyone with information can also DM @MerPolCC or contact CrimestoppersUK on 0800 555 111 quoting 21000146885.