The family of a vulnerable man with learning difficulties who was murdered in a communal hallway to his flat have paid a moving tribute to him.
Police are trying to trace a man seen near the home of Peter Lewis, 68, who suffered a single stab wound to the stomach when he was attacked outside his home in the Roath area of Cardiff.
In a statement released through South Wales police, Lewis’s brother and sister, Anne Wood and Michael Lewis, said hundreds of people were mourning his death. They said: “Peter was born in a time when special needs were not addressed in the respectful way that we are now used to. He had a brilliant brain and an excellent memory. The little talent that Peter had, he used it to the limit; far more than an able bodied person would with all of their talent. Peter always used to say that disability is not inability.
“Peter was snatched from us so prematurely, but we know he is happy in heaven now. Even though Peter’s life was so full of pain and suffering, he always kept a smile on his face and made everyone around him smile too. There will be hundreds of people mourning Peter; he was such a special man. He was loved and will be sorely missed.”
Lewis, who lived alone in a ground floor flat on the terraced residential street Claude Road, was taken to the University of Wales hospital after being found at 2.45am on Saturday but he died from his injuries. A postmortem examination found the cause of death to be a single stab wound.
Detectives described the crime as “despicable” as they appealed for information about the apparently motiveless attack. They are particularly keen to trace a man seen in nearby Oakfield Street at the time.
The man is described as white, and wearing a light-coloured hooded top and trainers. He was seen running in the direction of Newport Road.
Chief Superintendent Alun Thomas, the divisional commander for Cardiff, said: “Our thoughts are with the family of Mr Lewis. They’ve got our full support during this terrible time. He was a vulnerable man with learning difficulties. He was a happy man who was very well liked in the local community.
“He was well managed by the social services and he had good contact with the neighbourhood policing team, which makes this crime a despicable incident that is causing us to put every ounce of energy, activity and resource into it, in order to catch the culprit.”
Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact the Incident Room at Cardiff central police station on 02920 571530 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.