Brandon Victor Pillay, aka Ricardo Pisano

British police are looking for a South African man living in the UK in connection with the death of a 62-year-old gay man in Brighton.

Michael Polding’s body was found in his flat on 16 July, although it is thought that he was killed as far back as mid-May. He died from multiple injuries.

The authorities believe that Brandon Victor Pillay, a convicted criminal, who is also know as Ricardo Pisano and Ree or Ricky, is connected to the murder.

“Mr Polding lived in Croydon for around 30 years and we think they met in Croydon and he moved to Brighton in October 2011. They remained friends and saw each other regularly in Sussex,” said Detective Chief Inspector Nick May.

Described by The Star newspaper as SA’s Artful Dodger, Pillay gained notoriety eleven years ago when he walked out of a New Zealand prison while serving a 15-month sentence for extortion. He then appears to have made his way to the UK.

Said to be around 35-years-old, Pillay was last seen at the Marlans shopping centre in Southampton on July 28. He has previously passed himself off as a New Zealander, an Aboriginal Australian and an Italian.

Police believe that he and Polding lived together at some point and may have had a physical relationship.

“We are still unclear as to when exactly Mr Polding died and our inquiries have shown that Mr Polding was friends with [Mr Pillay],” said May, adding, “We think he may have information about Mr Polding’s last movements; however, we have been unable to find him so far.”

May also called on Pillay to get in contact with Sussex Police directly.

It is unclear if police suspect that Pillay was involved in the murder itself or if he may simply have information about the killing. Another 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the murder but he is out on bail pending further investigation.

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