A MURDER inquiry has been launched after a man in his forties was stabbed in the throat and died.

York detectives have arrested two men and three women in connection with the killing and all five were being questioned last night.

The victim is believed to have been attacked at a house in Stuart Road, Acomb, on Friday. Somehow, he managed to make his way to nearby Middleton Road, from where he was rushed by ambulance to York Hospital with a police escort.

Detectives have yet to release details about the man, who died later that day, but police and a local councillor have appealed for people to come forward with information about the murder.

A 999 call was made at 4.15pm on Friday and officers descended on Stuart Road and Middleton Road, where they found the victim still alive, and arranged for him to be taken to York Hospital.

Residents spoke of vanloads of police in the area that afternoon and evening.

Middleton Road, next to its junction with Stuart Road near Gale Lane, was sealed off all weekend while forensics officers and detectives examined the scenes. Officers also carried out inquiries in the area and spoke to residents of both streets.

A 29-year-old man was arrested shortly after the murder. Police held him in their cells at Fulford Road Police Station all weekend and yesterday morning secured permission from magistrates to keep him in custody until this evening.

A second man, aged 34, and three women, aged 26, 30 and 49, were arrested over the weekend and were also in custody yesterday evening.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said on Sunday: "Police can now confirm this is a murder inquiry. Police are appealing for information and ask anyone who was in the area of Kingsway West, Gale Lane, Middleton Road and Stuart Road on Friday afternoon, or anyone who may have information to contact them as a matter of urgency.

Call the police on 0845 6060247 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111."

Ward councillor and city council leader Andrew Waller said residents were very concerned about what had happened.

"It is clearly a very serious incident," he said. "I would urge anyone with any evidence to take this to the police to help them with their inquiries. Clearly it is important to establish the facts of the case as soon as possible.

"The residents will want the appropriate action to be taken as quickly as possible."

Neighbours in the area were reluctant to talk to The Press about what had happened in their normally quiet streets.