POLICE say the murder of a man in Easingwold may have been racially motivated.

The man, who has been named as Mohammed Saleem Khan, 36, died after a road accident in Long Street but was later found to have been stabbed in the neck.

Detective Chief Inspector Heather Pearson said that one line of inquiry being explored was that it may have been an unprovoked, racially motivated attack.

She said Mr Khan, a family man who was orginally from Luton but had recently been living in Birmingham, was delivering shower products in North Yorkshire in a hired Europcar Ford Transit van, white in colour.

She said a 26-year-old local man had been arrested on suspicion of murder in the early hours of this morning, and three other local people, a woman aged 20, and two men aged 21 and 25, were also arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

She said the murder weapon, a sharp instrument, had not yet been found and she appealed for anyone in Easingwold who knew where this, or items of discarded clothing, had been dumped to contact police as a matter of urgency.

She also asked for anyone who saw Mr Khan or the van any time on Saturday evening to call them on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

She said Mr Khan was seriously injured when his van collided with two bollards at about 2.30am yesterday, and it was initially thought his injuries were a result of the collision.

But following inquiries and a post mortem examination, it was discovered he had died as a result of a stab to the neck.