A father of four was allegedly beaten to death with a cricket bat when he confronted suspected bike thieves hours after reporting the matter to the local police.

Derek Whyteside, 42, died two days after being found unconscious and in a pool of blood in the street close to his home in Telford, Shropshire.

The former factory worker, who is originally from Cumbernauld near Glasgow, was allegedly attacked when he attempted to retrieve the stolen bikes from two teenage suspects, reports Daily Telegraph UK.

The incident took place on Monday afternoon, hours after Mr Whyteside's partner, Michelle Wilson, noticed that two of their children's bicycles had gone missing from outside their house.

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She reported the matter to West Mercia Police at 11.45am, but after examining CCTV spotted footage of the alleged theft taking place.

Ms Wilson then posted the footage on Facebook, asking for the public's help to identify the suspects, who were wearing school uniform at the time.

It is thought Mr Whyteside later attempted to confront the suspects after a member of the public identified them, but was allegedly injured during the ensuing argument.

He was rushed to the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford before being airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, where he died in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

A short time later Ms Wilson posted on Facebook: "Lost my love my world at 3.20 this morning. U are my everything no one cud eva replace wot we have. Fly high. Sleep tight Derek Whyteside."

Speaking at their home Ms Wilson said: "I'm completely heartbroken."

Paying tribute in a statement, his family said: "Derek was a nice guy, he was loveable and could always see the best in people and if he considered you a friend he would strive never to let you down.

"He would always be there for you and was very proud of his extended family.

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"He was a fab dad to his partner's children, very protective, cheeky and loving and always meant well. He was Michelle's world and was so good to her. He was a great brother too."

A neighbour said: "Derek was a wonderful dad, completely devoted to his family. What looks to have happened is he found out somehow who took his kids' bikes, tried to get them back and was battered to death for his troubles.

"It's absolutely terrifying to think he was killed. No one deserves to be left to die in the street.

"Michelle and the kids are in absolute bits. It's an absolute nightmare and everyone round here is appalled and very angry about what has happened."

A 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of his age, has been charged with murder and has appeared before Kidderminster magistrates court.

A spokesman for West Mercia Police also confirmed that two people had been arrested in connection with the bicycle thefts.

Police have now reassured residents and extra patrols have continued today in the area, close to where the victim died.

Superintendent Tom Harding said: "Incidents of this nature have a significant impact on our local communities and I will ensure we have officers in the local area over the coming days to offer reassurance to local residents. Anyone who is concerned can speak to an officer on patrol or to call us.

"We are working tirelessly to help make our communities even safer and we will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure we do this.

"I would like to reinforce my commitment to making sure we tackle violent crime and that our local communities can go about their daily lives without fear of crime."