THIS is the first photograph of a man who was murdered at a block of flats in Bridgwater.

A murder inquiry is underway following the death of a landlord at one of his properties in Bridgwater.

Police have confirmed Mike Bithrey’s death is being treated as murder and a post-mortem has confirmed his death was the result of a stab wound.

The 72-year-old businessman died following an altercation at Escott Court in Chilton Street shortly before 11am on Thursday.

The married-father-of-four was flown to Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton but later died.

An 83-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is under police supervision in hospital.

Following the incident police cordoned off an area around the 13 flats and car park in Chilton Street.

Forensics officers remained at the scene over the weekend and a tarpaulin covered several vehicles.

Residents have been shocked by the death.

One resident, who declined to be named, told the Mercury he heard a row and then ran to the man’s aid after hearing he had been stabbed in the neck.

He said: “I heard shouting and then ‘Oh my God, he stabbed me in the neck.’ “I ran out and saw his feet between the cars and asked if I could help but the couple he was with said they had it under control and they rang the police.

“I later heard them saying they couldn’t stem the blood.”

Mr Bithrey is a former town councillor from Honiton and well-known businessman in East Devon.

Sonya Cowley, from Cowley Lettings, in Sidmouth, said: “The loss of Mike Bithrey is terrible.

“Mike was a prominent businessman in Honition.

“He may have been a toughie in business but he was a kind, thoughtful and caring man.

“I will miss him terribly in my business, which he helped me set up four years ago. I will also miss him personally.”