Police have launched a murder investigation after nightclub owner Les Ross was found dead on Monday.
Mr Ross, 39, also known as David, was found in his room in bed and breakfast accommodation in The Jamb, Corby Old Village, with a head injury. The results of a post mortem held yesterday (Tuesday, December 18) revealed Mr Ross died as a result of an assault and not of the head injury. Police have now launched a murder investigation.
Mr Ross was well-known and respected in the area and had worked as a taxi driver and doorman in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough.
He moved from Kettering to Corby several years ago and touching tributes have been paid to him by friends in both towns, who described him as a “gentle giant”. His family has also released a statement about his death. They said: “David (Les) was a hard-working, honest professional. He was one of life’s charmers, had a very warm caring nature, with a wonderful sense of humour. David was a larger than life character and will be remembered fondly by all his friends and associates.
“As a family we are struggling to come to terms with this horrific loss especially at this time of year when families should be together. David has been cruelly taken from our lives and we will support the police to ensure that justice is done.
“RIP David we love and miss you, we find strength, knowing you are now safe in the Lord’s hands.”Mr Ross was the business partner of Jon Cowell and the pair opened Lounge 66 and Rubix, in Corporation Street, Corby, two weeks ago.
Mr Cowell said: “We are all devastated. Les was an amazing man and a gentle giant.
“I have known him for 15 years and for the past 12 months we have worked together on the nightclub project. It had been a life-long ambition of his to have a nightclub and we made it happen.
“He was well-known and respected in Corby and was professional in everything he did.”
Corby town centre manager Dan Pickard said: “I worked closely with him as I do with all new tenants.
“He was a thoroughly nice chap. I had a drink with him on Sunday at a staff Christmas party in the club, and he was in good spirits.
“I am saddened and shocked by his death. He was so popular and very well-known in Corby, and a highly respected man.”
It is understood Mr Ross has family members living in Kettering and in Ireland.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Kinchin, from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) Major Crime team, is leading the investigation into Mr Ross’s death and is appealing for anyone who may have seen him or had any contact with him on Monday, December 17.
DCI Kinchin said: “Mr Ross died as a result of an assault and was found in the Village Express Hotel in The Jamb at around 2.40pm on Monday.
“He was a well-known and popular man and I am appealing for the public’s assistance in helping me to establish the events leading up to his death.
“I would like to speak to anyone who may have seen, or had contact with Mr Ross, anytime between 2am and 2.30pm on Monday.
“I would also like to speak to anyone who may have any information about David and his life which they feel may assist our investigation.”
Anyone who may have any information about Mr Ross’ death can contact officers by calling 101 and asking for Operation Lane, or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Read tomorrow’s Corby Telegraph for the full story.
Click here for more pictures following the launch of the murder investigation.