An innocent man who was murdered after he was falsely accused of taking indecent images of children and branded a paedophile, had reportedly been photographing flowers outside his home.

In July, Bijan Ebrahimi was beaten up and set on fire by ‘vigilantes’ in Bristol after a neighbour told police he had taken pictures of children, according to press reports.

Police arrested Ebrahimi, 44, on the mistaken suspicion he had committed a ‘public order offence’, before releasing him and taking no further action.

Neighbour Lee James, 24, admits murdering Ebrahimi two days later after false rumours circulated that he had been taking photos of children in the street.

Ebrahimi, who was registered disabled, is believed to have been photographing flowers and hanging baskets to present as evidence of damage by vandals to the police and council, reports The Times.

James is due to be sentenced at Bristol Crown Court in November, along with Stephen Norley, also 24, who was accused of dragging the victim from the house before his body was set alight.

Norley has reportedly admitted to assisting an offender.

Avon and Somerset Police suspended three of its officers following concern over their conduct, which is now being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

In a police statement, separately confirmed to Amateur Photographer this morning, the force, said: ‘We can categorically state he [Mr Ebrahimi] had not taken any indecent images and that nothing of concern had been found on his computer.

‘Between the time of his arrest and the time of his death we had contact with Mr Ebrahimi on a number of occasions.

‘The nature of this contact is part of an investigation by the IPCC and we will continue to support them in any way we can.’