Detectives today offered a reward worth up to £1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of murder victim Gary Bennett's killer.

Officers from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit said they are following a “number of lines of enquiry” but put up the cash from Crimestoppers to encourage more witnesses to come forward.

The reward was offered a week after police released an artist's impression of their main suspect.

Mr Bennett, 46, was found bludgeoned to death by a group of teenage students walking to school through Aldenham Country Park, in Dagger Lane, at about 8.50am on Wednesday, February 24.

He was found wearing a yellow high visibility jacket, with grey cargo bottoms and black boots.

Police believe the popular bin man, who was due to report for work at the Wiggenhall Road waste depot in Watford that morning, was was attacked at some point between 5am and 8.50am.

They also think the killer was someone Mr Bennett knew. The motive behind the murder, officers suspect, was robbery after Mr Bennett's body was found without one or two chunky gold chains he was known to wear, and his brown leather wallet.

The man shown in the artist's impression was seen leaving the park through a 'kissing gate' that leads to Dagger Lane at 5.45am on the morning of the murder. He was also wearing a high visibility jacket.

Detective Superintendent Mick Hanlon said: “Gary was a gentle, innocent, caring man who liked nothing more than to look after his mother and take her out on day trips.

“He did not deserve to die in this brutal way. I am, therefore, hoping this reward will encourage people to come forward and help us trace those responsible for this terrible crime.

“We are following a number of lines of enquiry at the moment, but it is vital that if anyone feels they know something about Gary’s death or events leading up to it, no matter how insignificant it may seem, then please get in contact.”

Mr Bennett, who lived with his mother Alice in Little Oxhey Lane, South Oxhey, is described as a white man of large build, approximately 6ft tall with short dark hair.

Anyone with information should telephone police via the incident room number on 01707 355959 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.