I had to readjust my knee, as I knelt down next to his head, as there was a small pebble on the carpet.
He lay on his back, his left arm out perpendicular to his body. He was wearing a red shirt and black trousers. He only had one shoe on. I hadn't seen the other one yet.
I reached across his chest with my right arm to reach for the knot in the Woolworth's carrier bag around his head. It took me a few minutes to undo it, especially with two pairs of rubber gloves on. I photographed the knot extensively, knots can be very useful evidence. I wanted to keep the bag intact for fingerprints.
I knew I was going to have to take it off eventually, but I wasn't really looking forward to seeing his face. The amount of blood visible through the carrier bag was a very good indication that whatever had happened, wasn't pretty.
I slowly took the bag off, trying to be as careful as possible as I did.
I concentrated solely on the bag and ensured I recovered it properly before focusing on his face, despite knowing that his face was directly in front of mine.
I put the carrier bag inside an open plastic bag and then sealed that, upright, inside a brown paper bag. This meant that the wet blood wouldn't soak through the paper bag before I had a chance to get it to the drying cabinet back at the station.
I turned back to face him. I'd seen photographs of him throughout his house and this didn't look like him. I mean, it was him, but it didn't look like him. He had taken a real beating. There were dents and lumps all over his head and face.
Apart from the offender, I'm the first person to see this gentleman like this. I photographed his face, documenting as many of the injuries as I could. I knew I was taking photographs that no one would want to look at. When he goes for a Post-Mortem, the injuries will be carefully washed and re-photographed, hopefully showing more detail and less gore.
This was a frenzied attack.
I called a colleague for help, this was going to take one person a long time, two people would speed the process up. I've been at work for thirteen hours already.
The press gathered outside, partly because no one was quite sure what had happened at this point. There was a missing person enquiry for the gentleman involved, but the sudden flurry of activity at his address had attracted every news van for every station. It was a small cul-de-sac. There was barely enough room for my van and the Police car, but now we had the BBC, ITV, Sky and a couple of freelancers all trying to find a space on the pavement outside the neighbour's homes.
This all came about after me and another colleague were asked to attend the address and search for any clues of a disturbance. Officers had already been and couldn't find anything.
We look for different signs. Our signs are much smaller than an upturned chair or broken window.
Someone had been cleaning. Cleaning blood. However, they weren't thorough enough.
I left the house and took a breather in the scene tent at the front of the property. We'd erected the tent so that I had somewhere safe to put all of my equipment and exhibits, out of the rain and out of public view. The tent also doubled as a useful spot to take a break. I emptied a 750ml bottle of Evian into me in about thirty seconds. It's hot inside, even more so with a scene suit, overboots, two pairs of gloves and a mask on.
Whilst I dug around my cases, desperately looking for a Snickers bar I was sure I had left there for emergencies just like this, my colleague arrived.
I abandoned the search for the Snickers, probably because I knew I'd have to share it.
I gave him a run down of what had happened so far and how we came to be where we were.
He kitted up and then we entered the scene. I gave him a walk-through of the scene so he understood how everything fits together so far. We used the aluminium stepping plates as the floor needed preserving for footwear evidence recovery.
We got to the bathroom and he gasped "Oh shit!" It was a nasty sight, despite him being prepared for it. We see it all the time, but it doesn't mean we don't think it's hideous.
Sometimes you find yourself just stood next to a deceased person, for what seems like five or six minutes, often next to a colleague, and neither of you say a thing. Just looking, thinking.
These scene are shocking but it's our job to deal with them. I've seen some of the most horrific things I'll ever see in my life whilst doing this job.
It's a job like no other.
We had a number of forensic exhibits to recover from the gentleman before removing his clothes. It's important that things are done in the right order here as taking clothes off may dislodge a small, yet vital piece of evidence.
I clipped the gent's fingernails. Always a strange task. When you clip kid's nails, they wriggle and whinge and sometimes you get a bit of flesh. This is much easier, yet a little eerie.
I recovered all of his jewellery, documenting where each piece was and it's condition.
I've never undressed so many people as I have in this job. Thing is, they're all dead when I do.
We recovered each item of clothing into separate bags, packing them as I did the Woolie's carrier bag. They'd need to dry in the cabinet when I get back to the station. If I were to seal wet clothing, whether it be blood or water, into a bag and put it into a dry store, it'd degrade very quickly and go mouldy.
So, there he is, face battered and broken, naked and cold. Now we have to zip him up inside a black plastic bag.
The black bags are new. The handles are stronger than the previous ones. I find them easier to use. Sometimes it'd be difficult to get anyone over six foot into the white ones. I sometimes have to resort to laying them diagonally in the bag to get the zip to shut.
I finished by photographing the serial number of the tag on the bag when we zipped tied the zipper closed.
We wait what seems an eternity for the on call undertaker to arrive, but in reality it was only forty minutes. We help the undertaker get the gent out of the house and into the van.
I sign out of the log book at 0213. I've been at work for 19 hours and 13 minutes.
I jump into my van and open the glove box for the sat nav. The snickers falls into the footwell. Bonus.
Back in at 0700 for a briefing with the investigation team.