Police in Northern Ireland say a 68-year-old man found dead in his home in Co Down was viciously beaten to death.

Neighbours discovered the body of Michael Kerr at the bottom of stairs in his house in Bangor on Tuesday night.

He had suffered skull and facial fractures.

The PSNI today said they have now launched a murder investigation after receiving the results of the post-mortem examination.

The officer leading the investigation, Detective Superintendent Jason Murphy, said Mr Kerr's body showed "no signs of defensive injuries".

He said the pensioner had been the victim of a "vicious, sustained and violent beating" and was likely to have been "utterly defenceless".

Police believe Mr Kerr was killed in his home.

"I do not know at this stage how many people attacked Mike and whether he knew them or not," Det Supt Murphy said.

"There was no sign of forced entry which leads me to believe either he knew his tickers and allowed them into his house or his house was insecure."

Mr Kerr, a former radio and television announcer for the BBC, was last seen on Sunday.

Police say they are keeping an open mind about why he was killed, but do not believe the assault was carried out by paramilitaries or was sexually motivated.