Farmer's murder was 'a savage attack'

The killing of a farmer in his isolated home was savage, police in the North said today.

A murder investigation was launched into the death of dairy farmer Victor Stewart, a 45-year-old bachelor who lived alone at Creevekeeran Road, Middletown, Co Armagh .

Mr Stewart was found shortly before midday on Wednesday, but police have yet to establish when he died.

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Harkness who is heading up the murder investigation said: “It was a savage attack in the living room of his home – we believe shortly after he had eaten his tea.”

The DCI added: “There are no obvious motives, however a murder investigation has been launched.”

He made a special appeal for help from the public. “We would like to speak to anyone who saw Mr Stewart from Sunday of this week until his body was found on Wednesday at about 11.30am.”

An incident room with a dedicated team of detectives has been established and can be contacted on 00442837 517390.

Mr Stewart single-handedly ran a farm of around 200 acres close to the Monaghan border .

The murder sent shockwaves through the area.

Gerald Mallon, an SDLP Armagh councillor who knew the farmer, said he was “a quiet fella who spent most of his time and energy on the farm”.

He added: “I am shocked and saddened, this is deeply worrying. It is the second murder in Co Armagh in two weeks. People will understandably be shocked.”

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