Murdered barman Stuart Walker, who was beaten and burned alive at the weekend, may have been sexually assaulted before he was killed.

The openly gay barman’s remains were found by a member of the public on an industrial estate in Ayrshire, Scotland, at 5am on Saturday.

According to reports, detectives revealed that Walker was found partially undressed, and said there was a “possibility” that he had suffered a sex attack.

Officers have launched a fresh witness appeal as they attempt to piece together Walker’s final hours. It is understood that suspects have already been flagged up to detectives.

Chief Superintendent John Thomson said the attack was not thought to be random, and that there was a possibility Walker had known his attacker or attackers.

Police also stated that Walker had been at a party earlier in the night and would not usually have walked through the industrial estate to get home.

When asked by local reporters whether Walker’s sexuality was considered a motive, Superintendent Thomson apparently replied: “We have no clear motive – it would be unwise to eliminate that fact.”

Strathclyde Police previously confirmed that the body had scorch marks and showed injuries consistent with a severe beating.