Murder squad detectives were today trying to piece together the final movements of a drugs user, who died several days after being brutally assaulted.

The body of Antony John Grayson, a well-known busker in York city centre, was found in his flat last week - and police believe he may have died from injuries received in an attack days earlier.

Mr Grayson, 38, is thought to have been assaulted in Colchester town centre days before his partner called emergency services to his flat, off Walmgate, York, last Tuesday.

Mr Grayson, known as Tony, was found lying on the living room floor and was pronounced dead by a police surgeon.

Detectives are now appealing to the city's drugs fraternity to come forward with potentially crucial information about Mr Grayson's last movements. It is known that Mr Grayson received treatment at York District Hospital on May 29.

Detective Chief Inspector Javad Ali, of York police, said: "I want to make it clear from the onset that our interest is in Mr Grayson's death, not in any offences that may have been committed by witnesses.

"Tony Grayson's friends and associates may hold the key to how he got his injuries and we need to hear from them."

Essex police force's major investigation section is also probing the suspected attack on Mr Grayson and is working closely with North Yorkshire Police.

Mr Ali said Mr Grayson would have been well known to both residents and tourists in York. He was white, 6ft tall, thin, with collar-length brown hair and a light beard.

He regularly busked with his harmonica in the city's Exhibition Square, at Scarborough Bridge and St George's Field, often with his labrador mongrel.

"Many people will have known Tony either personally or by sight," said Mr Ali. "It is an essential part of this investigation that we build up a detailed picture of his movements between May 20 and June 4 and I am asking for the help of the public in building up that picture."

Anyone with information should contact York CID on (01904) 631321.