Police have said the death of a 43-year-old man in a Weymouth flat is no longer being treated as suspicious and is now being treated as a sudden death.

The discovery of a body in a property at the end of St Leonard’s Road in Chapelhay on Monday sparked a major police investigation.

Dorset Police said they have now referred the matter to the coroner. 

The coroners’ office said they have not yet opened a case investigating the man’s death.

A post-mortem was carried out yesterday but the results have not been made available.

The man's death was initially described as ‘suspicious’ by officers, and was then reclassified as ‘unexplained.’

Residents described their shock after the man’s body was discovered.

At the scene on Monday, scenes of crime investigators worked throughout the night as they tried to determine what happened.

Forensic examiners in white suits could be seen carrying boxes from the property, and officers carried out inquiries in the street and spoke to neighbours.

When crime scene investigators left the scene, more detectives arrived.

Speaking to the Echo at the scene, Inspector Geoff Hicks of Dorset Police said the death was being treated as suspicious.

Insp Hicks said: “We do not know very much at the moment, we are investigating the death of a man and as a precaution we are treating it as suspicious.”

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: "At 3.20pm on Monday July 28, Dorset Police received a report of a sudden death of a 43-year-old local man at an address on St Leonards Road in Weymouth. At this time the death is unexplained and officers from CID and scenes of crime are investigating. His next of kin and HM Coroner has been informed. There is no more information available at this time."

The property where the man’s body was found was still cordoned off yesterday, and a crime scene guard stood watch from Monday night through midday.

At the crime scene yesterday there were no further developments, and no activity took place during the previous night either.

Speaking to the Echo at the scene on Monday evening, Inspector Geoff Hicks said: “We do not know very much at the moment, we are investigating the death of a man and as a precaution we are treating it as suspicious.”

There is still some speculation among the neighbourhood’s residents as to the identity of the man.

Others said they were surprised at the incident, and several said they did not know about the man’s death until late on Tuesday morning when they were informed through word of mouth.

A Chapelhay shop owner said: “All I know is someone passed away up the road, a local chap, and there were police, CSI and am ambulance there. It’s a lovely area and very quiet. People up here are very friendly, there’s no hassle. You never think it’s going to happen in an area like this.”

Kevin Strickland, landlord of the Boot Inn near Chapelhay, said “I don’t think I knew the chap but I spoke to one of my customers and he reckoned he knew him and said he was a nice person, an alright lad. When a member of the community dies it is very sad even if you don’t know them. People are very surprised.”

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said the house has been 'quiet for the last couple of days' but she said: "When I passed it a couple of nights ago there was a hell of a din coming out of the house."

A passerby described the area as 'quiet', adding: "A suspicious death is the last thing you want to hear about."

Weymouth and Portland Borough Councillor for Weymouth East, John Birtwistle, said: “I was very distressed to hear of this death in the area. It’s quite clearly a tragedy no matter what the circumstances and I do hope that the next of kin and neighbours will accept my condolences. Chapelhay is relatively quiet and is respectable. It’s very pleasant and neighbourly, so when something like this happens it is certainly unexpected.”

Weymouth and Portland’s Mayor Kate Wheller said: “I would like to pass on my condolences. It’s very difficult to know what the circumstances are until the investigation is completed. It’s always sad when there is a death of this sort and we hope the police will be able to find out the circumstances.”

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