Detective Superintendent Richie Salter from Merseyside Police
A murder investigation has been launched after a lawyer was found dead in his home.
Martin Decker, who had worked for the CPS since 1985, was discovered with severe head injuries on Sunday 7 March after officers were called to the house in Vyner Croft, in Birkenhead.
Before Mr Decker’s cause of death was revealed, it was treated as unexplained. But the examination later revealed the cause of death to be "severe blunt force head injury”.
Mr Decker worked for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for more than two decades and played a key role in the formation of the Merseyside Police Unity team which set out to improve investigations into sexual offences.
The former lawyer's body was discovered by his family who have paid tribute:
"His life was spent working hard on behalf of other people and for their benefit. 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."
His friends described him as a “gentleman lawyer” and he has been praised by members of the CPS.
CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Chief Crown Prosecutor Siobhan Blake 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.”
The 69-year-old was also a dedicated Tranmere Rovers supporter and the football club paid tribute:
Merseyside Police continue to appeal for witnesses and have asked anybody who may have seen Mr Decker in the time leading up to his death - at around 5.30pm - to come forward.
Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Wilson said: “The investigation is in the very early stages and we are currently working to establish Mr Decker’s movements on the Saturday (6 March) and Sunday (7 March).
“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.
Anyone with mobile phone or CCTV footage is also urged to contact Merseyside Police on 101 , via Twitter (MerPolCC) or contact Crimestoppes on 0800555111 quoting 21000146885.