A 36-YEAR-OLD man calling himself Ricardo Pisano has been found guilty of the manslaughter of his former boyfriend Michael Polding. Mr Polding was found dead in his flat in St George's Road, Brighton, on July 16 2012 - two months after the former Croydon resident is believed to have died from multiple injuries. Detectives launched an international manhunt including a £5,000 cash reward for help in finding Pisano, who was in a relationship with Mr Polding when he died. Also known as Brandon Victor Pillay, Roots Lootahin, Ree or Ricky, Pisano was arrested in May after he was detained at a house in Southampton. He was charged with the murder of Mr Polding, wounding Mr Polding and preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body. Today (Monday 16 December) a jury at Lewes Crown Court found him not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. He was also found guilty of wounding. He had already pleaded guilty to preventing the lawful and decent burial of a body. He was jailed for 18 and a half years. Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Jon Fanner, from Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: "Michael Polding was a vulnerable man who trusted the defendant to care for and look after him. "That trust was breached and the defendant was responsible for Michael's death. "After he had died, the defendant abandoned the body of the man he claimed to care for and left Sussex in order to avoid detection and to save himself. "The fact that Michael's body lay undisturbed for several weeks before he was found has meant further anguish for the Polding family, on top of their loved one's death." She added the defendant had refused to reveal his true identity throughout the trial, and paid tribute to Mr Polding's family for their strength and help. Mr Polding lived in Oval Road, East Croydon, for 30 years before moving to Brighton in 2011. His sister, Mary McKeown, speaking on behalf of the family, said the family was "pleased that the trial is over and that justice has been done for our brother, Michael." She added: "The time since we were told of Michael's death has been a rollercoaster for the family, with far more downs than ups. We have managed to get through the weeks and months only by supporting each other. "Today's verdict means that we have justice for Michael although that is little comfort against the thought of how we lost him. "Michael was a happy, loving and gentle person, always ready to help others when needed. He was fun and always enjoyed the company of family and friends. "When you were with him you knew you would have a great time and would spend the day laughing and enjoying yourself." She also gave her thanks for "all the effort put into this case" by Sussex Police. She added: "Additionally we would like to thank both them and all those who have shown us kindness and consideration. Their support has helped us cope over the months since Michael was taken from us. "We'd particularly like to thank Laura Carron for all her help over the last few months. The support she has given us over the period has been particularly helpful. "We miss Michael every hour of every day. He will always be in our thoughts."
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