Neighbours have paid tribute to a "nice and hardworking" man who died after being struck by his own car in Erith.

Marc Allen suffered fatal head injuries when he tried to challenge a suspected car thief who attempted to steal his car from his driveway.

Police were called to the scene in Peareswood Road shortly before 3am on December 29.

The 51-year-old victim was taken to Kings College Hospital where he was placed into a coma. He died a month later on January 29.

Police launched a murder investigation and a 27-year-old man was arrested on Friday on suspicion of murder and burglary.

He was taken into custody at an east London police station where he remains.

Neighbours said on Saturday they were shocked to hear of Mr Allen's death.

Jerry Gould, 43, said he was saddened to hear about the incident.

He told the PA news agency: "He was a very nice guy. My dog got out one day, ran away to a few streets away and Marc went out and brought him back for me.

"He recognised him and knew he shouldn't be out on his own. I was so grateful when he brought him back."

Mr Gould added: "He was a very nice man, a family man. You could tell he was a hard worker and just got on with his life.

"He has a small, young child and an older son who is about 18. I assume he had a partner because of his young child.

"I'm quite shocked and saddened about what's happened. What a waste of a life."

Bill Townsend, 47, said: "I didn't really know him that well, only saw him in passing.

"My wife spoke to his son just before he died who said he'd been put in an induced coma and he was hoping he was going to be well.

"His son's not very old either, only in his teens or 20s."

He added: "We weren't told much about what happened by the police. They told us at the time there was an incident across the road involving a man and then came round

last week to say that he'd died and it was a murder investigation.

"It was quite upsetting when we found out. It's a horrible thing to have in your neighbourhood. It's a nice, quiet street and we don't get much trouble around here.

It's not a violent place. It's a shocking thing to have happen locally."

Detectives believe on the night of the incident, Mr Allen came out of his property to challenge a man attempting to steal his car from his driveway.

The suspect, who was inside the grey Mercedes GLA, deliberately drove towards the victim, hitting him and forcing him over the top of the car.

Scotland Yard said the suspect then left the scene in the car, leaving Mr Allen lying in the driveway with head injuries.

On December 31, the vehicle was recovered from the E14 area.

It is believed the car was left in the vicinity of Bronze Age Way for a number of hours following the incident.

Police are appealing for any information about how the suspect gained access to the vehicle's keys.