Date: 10 Aug 1991
Sharon Hoare was found strangled in her flat in Brompton Park Crescent, Fulham on 10 August 1991 at about 3pm by her flatmate.
She was found naked on her bedroom floor having been beaten, throttled and bludgeoned. It was thought that she had been hit over the head with a blunt instrument and then strangled with a rope or ligature of some kind. However, no weapons were found at the scene.
Sharon Hoare also had injuries to her hands and arms as though she had attempted to defend herself.
She was last known to have returned to her flat alone in Brompton Park Crescent by taxi at about 2am on 10 August 1991 after she had been turned away from a London hotel.
It was noted that during the struggle, the handset on her phone had been knocked off and that all subsequent calls that came were made to her number would have met an engaged tone.
The police said that they thought that she had been murdered at about 2.30am.
After Sharon Hoare's flatmate had found Sharon Hoare, she went to a neighbour’s flat and banged on their door. The neighbour, a 44-year-old businessman, said, 'I heard her banging at the front door. The flatmate was screaming for me to come next door to help her friend'. He said that he had to force the patio doors open as Sharon Hoare's flatmate had locked herself out in her panic. He said, 'When the flatmate came to my door, I thought it was because Sharon had cut herself. But when I went into her bedroom, it was clear that the girl was dead. I had no idea that what I saw would be so awful. I wish I had never gone in there'. The neighbour later said, 'I was amazed when police told me that Sharon was a prostitute. I had no idea'.
The police said that residents nearby said they had heard screams at about 7am but said that they didn't know whether they were connected with the investigation.
Sharon Hoare was from Bristol but had gone to London to become a model and had started working as a prostitute and at the time was living in what was described as a luxury flat in Fulham behind Chelsea Football Stadium which was said to have cost £1,000 a month in rent at the time. She had been there for about two months. She was said to have worked at some of the most expensive and exclusive hotels in London and used a number of aliases such as Nicky and Siobhan and would be sent by escort agencies to clients in West End hotels who she would charge £500 for sex. She had been in London for about six months.
Sharon Hoare was naturally a redhead but had died her hair blonde. Her parents said that they had no idea that she had been working as a prostitute in London.
After the police investigated her lifestyle, they determined that she could have been earning up to £50,000 over a few months in London but said that none of the money was ever traced. However, the police said that they ruled out robbery as they found £100 that had been left out on the side.
The police also added that there were no signs of Sharon Hoare having been raped.
The police later said that they thought that she had been murdered by a client or by someone that she knew and someone that she saw regularly. They noted that whilst it was possible for someone to get into her ground-floor flat from the outside, there were no signs of a forced entry and the building had a system of entry phones and a permanent security guard who patrolled the block.
On 16 August 1991 another prostitute, a 24-year-old woman, was attacked in Kensington, about a mile from Fulham, and was left for dead, and the police said that they thought that she had been attacked by the same man that had murdered Sharon Hoare. The 24-year-old prostitute had been hit over the head in her home with a blunt instrument. The man was described as being 30 to 32 years old, with a pale complexion, thick, dark brown fuzzy hair and with a heavy beard and moustache.
On 20 August 1991 the police arrested her former boyfriend in Bristol in connection with her murder, but he was later released and eliminated from the investigation. He was a 40-year-old man that Sharon Hoare had met whilst she was doing temporary work as a secretary in Whiteladies Road. It was said that her parents frowned on their relationship and they would meet secretly and he would buy her expensive presents such as solid gold bracelets and gave her a liking for expensive, fashionable clothes. It was said then that she started to dream about having a lavish lifestyle and owning an expensive sports car and then later moved to Chelsea in London with a friend who was already there working as an escort. Sharon Hoare and the 40-year-old former boyfriend had been together for about two years.
Sharon Hoare's ex-boyfriend was later arrested at Sharon Hoare's funeral on 31 October 1991 after he attempted to enter the church against her families wishes. Her funeral took place at the Grace Evangelical Church in Westerleigh near Bristol. The ex-boyfriend had been warned not to attend the funeral and turned up with another man who had also been warned not to show up.
The funeral was attended by about 50 relatives and close friends of Sharon Hoare.
During the investigation, the police arrested another neighbour of Sharon Hoare, a customs officer, although they said that it was in connection with another incident on 2 September 1991 and he was ordered to stay out of London and placed on £5,000 bail with a 9pm to 6am curfew. On 18 October 1991 the customs officer was charged with the attempted murder of another prostitute. It was said that he had attempted to murder a 29-year-old prostitute with the aim of robbing her. The customs officer, a VAT inspector, had recently moved to London from Brighton and had lived in a flat in Brompton Park Crescent that was just 12 feet from Sharon Hoare's flat.
The customs officer was later tried at the Old Bailey for attempting to throttle the prostitute with intent to commit an offence but was acquitted. He said that it was he that was robbed after her pimp robbed him at knife point. The customs officer said that he had been on his way to his flat that he shared with his girlfriend when the prostitute solicited him. He said that he had never been approached by a prostitute before and so he went with her and they had sex in her basement flat. However, he said that as he was dressing to leave her flat, her pimp came in and demanded his wallet. He said that he refused to hand it over and said that he was then punched to the ground and had a knife waved in his face and that his wallet was then taken from him. He said that when the prostitute saw his Customs and Excise identity card in his wallet she said, 'Look what we've got here. Somebody's been a naughty boy'. He said that he was then given back his wallet without his money and that he then went home. He said that he told his girlfriend that the cut lip that he had, and swollen nose was caused when he was mugged. He said that he lied because he felt dirty and was scared that his girlfriend would leave him if he told her the truth.
However, the customs officer was arrested the following day after the prostitute told the police that he had tried to throttle her. At the trial, she told the court that they had had sex and that the customs officer had then suddenly demanded his money back and that when she refused, he grabbed her around the throat and strangled her to near unconsciousness whilst yelling, 'Die you dirty whore'. She said that she managed to escape however, and that her boyfriend then came in and punched the customs officer. She said that her boyfriend then held down the customs officer whilst she took details of his driving licence and then later that evening flagged down a police car and reported him.
At the trial, the customs officer showed his bank records in evidence showing that he had taken £200 out earlier that evening and said that when he got home he was penniless.
It was noted that whilst the customs officer had been in custody, he had been questioned about the murder of Sharon Hoare, as well as about the attempted murder of the other prostitute who was hit over the head with an iron bar on 16 August 1991 in Kensington, however, the police said that they were satisfied that he was not connected with either crimes.
During the investigation the police arrested a total of four people and that there were a total of five people that were possible suspects. They said that they had had a 100-strong murder inquiry team working on the case at the time and had spoken to over 800 people, including clients, pimps and ponces from the area.
The police said that Sharon Hoare had worked for a number of escort agencies, but said that she had also had a number of private clients that had complicated their investigation. The police noted that during their investigation, the various escort agencies that Sharon Hoare had worked for had provided them with a blacklist of undesirable clients.
The police also said that they were looking for her appointment book which they believed might have contained the names of men on her client list.
The police said that they found finger and palm prints in her flat but said that because so many men had been there, that that didn't mean that they belonged to the murderer.
Sharon Hoare had been a pupil at Brimsham Green Secondary school, but it was heard that she had struggled as she had been bullied because of her surname. Her parents said that when she was 14 she moved into The Ridings in Winterbourne where she went on to do a secretarial course and later became a typist. Her parents said that they were surprised that she had become a prostitute, stating that she used to be shy and would ask other people to get things when in cafes etc.
She then later met her 40-year-old boyfriend and then after about two years with him she went off to London about six months' before she was murdered.
Her ex-boyfriend said that he had warned her about the risks of going to London.
see Oldest Prof
see Bristol Live
see Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette - Friday 27 September 1991
see Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette - Friday 01 May 1992
see Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette - Friday 06 March 1992
see Aberdeen Press and Journal - Wednesday 21 August 1991
see Liverpool Echo - Thursday 31 October 1991
see Kensington Post - Thursday 10 October 1991
see Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette - Friday 03 January 1992
see Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette - Friday 23 August 1991
see Kensington Post - Thursday 15 August 1991
see Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette - Friday 30 August 1991
see Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette - Friday 16 August 1991