UK police hunt SA man

ct Ricardo Pisano - Op Journal~1 RICARDO PISANO: Said to have ties with Cape Town

Caryn Dolley

A MAN with ties to Cape Town, dubbed “New Zealand’s greatest prison escaper”, is at the centre of an international investigation into the murder of a British man.

Police in Sussex in the UK have launched a website, part of “Operation Journal” which is the name of their murder probe, dedicated to trying to track down Ricardo Pisano, who also goes by the names Ricky, Ree, and Brandon Victor Pillay.

Pisano, about 35 years old and an escaped convict, is wanted in connection with the killing of Michael Polding 63, who was found dead by police in his Brighton flat on July 16.

According to an article in the New Zealand Herald, Pisano is from Cape Town.

However, yesterday in a phone conversation with the Cape Times, a UK police officer said she could not confirm this. But she did say Pisano had ties with Cape Town.

ct gay fugitive MICHAEL POLDING: Found dead in his flat

She would not divulge what these were.

The officer said a team of UK police, trying to gather details about Pisano’s background, were planning to travel to South Africa next year as part of their probe.

The UK police were working with police from other countries. On the Operation Journal website called, www.michaelpoldingmurder.com, it said Pisano spoke with a South African accent and was thought to be from South Africa.

It said that on July 16 police had gone to Polding’s flat to see if he was okay after Sussex police had received an e-mail from his sister saying she had not heard from him in two months.

Police discovered his body and five days later a post-mortem examination was carried out and showed “a number of injuries were found to his body which suggested that his death had not been natural”.

A 28-year-old was initially arrested, but released on bail and police discovered Pisano was the second suspect.

The website said Pisano, who was referred to by the name “Ricky” on the website, was believed to be the last person who had seen Polding alive.

“Ricky described himself as Michael’s carer even though Michael did not medically need one. Ricky is a man of many guises – he changes his name, appearance and accent,” it said.

The website said that 11 years ago Pisano was convicted of extortion in New Zealand, sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment and sent to Tongariro Rangipo Prison.

“However, in August 2001, part way through his sentence, he escaped. He managed to leave the country and eventually flee to the UK.”

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