UK OCTOBER 24, 2011
POLICE fear that the brutal murder of a gay man who was beaten up, tied to a lamppost and then burned to death in Ayrshire, Scotland, in the early hours of Saturday morning could have been a homophobic attack. The charred body of Stuart Walker, a hotel worker from Cumnock, was discovered by a member of the public at 5am on Saturday.Walker is believed to have gone to a party on the Netherthird housing estate in Cumnock following a night out drinking with friends. He was last seen at 2.30am. Ayr CID is calling for any witnesses who saw him after that time to come forward.
"It is imperative that we find out where he was between 2.30am and 4.50am, who he was with and why this happened to him," Detective Inspector John Hogg said on Sunday.
Walker's disappearance came to light when he failed to turn up for his grandmother Margaret McMeekin's 80th birthday party. "We knew something was wrong because he was really close to his gran and wouldn't have missed her party for anything," his cousin John Mullen told the Daily Record. "He was close to everyone who knew him. He was everyone's best pal."
Users of Twitter have reacted to the news that Walker may have been targeted due to his sexuality. A hashtag - #RIPStuartWalker - has been created which has become the number one trending topic in the UK, with newspaper columnists such as India Knight and Suzanne Moore helping to spread awareness of the attack.
Read more: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/86341,people,news,gay-man-burned-to-death-in-scotland-stuart-walker#ixzz1bnBRbQfA