Police have launched an investigation after the body of a man was found in his Hartlepool home.
The man, named locally as Martin Strickland, is believed to have been found dead in the flat in Church Street in the early hours of Tuesday morning by a friend.
We always found Martin to be a lovely ladPaul Edwards
Cleveland Police have launched an investigation into an alleged earlier assault on Mr Strickland and five people have been arrested.
Paul Edwards, director of Asset Property Management, which looked after the flat, said the death of the 41-year-old had come as a huge shock.
He said: “It is a terrible shock. We always found Martin to be a lovely lad. He was no bother as all, his rent was always paid on time.
“He had been a tenant for coming up to a year and was a really nice lad. It is very, very sad.”
A spokesman for Cleveland Police said: “Police were called to the sudden death of a man at an address on Church Street, Hartlepool, at around 2am on the morning of Tuesday 4 th July.
“The death is currently being treated as unexplained and enquiries are ongoing into an earlier incident during which it is believed that the man could have been assaulted.
“Five people have been arrested in connection with the earlier possible assault and all remain in police custody at this time.”