Date: 23 Sep 1988
Albert Smith was found dead at his home in Carterhatch Road, Enfield on 23 September 1987.
He had been throttled.
A 23-year-old man was tried for his murder at the Old Bailey but the judge ordered the jury to return a not guilty verdict after stating that the evidence was too risky for a jury to convict him.
The man tried was dubbed the 'Mohican-Haired Murderer' because shortly after the murder he had got a Mohican style haircut.
It was claimed that the 23-year-old man had throttled Albert Smith with his tie which stopped his heart from beating.
The prosecution said that the 23-year-old man had been one of a gang of builders that had been working at Albert Smith's house a few days before his murder and that he had gone back to Albert Smith's house sometime between 18 and 21 September 1988 and because Albert Smith had recognised him he had let him in and that the 23-year-old man had then killed him.
A pathologist from Charing Cross Hospital said that Albert Smith had been a paranoid schizophrenic which meant that he would have been more likely than other people to have taken his own life. He said that whilst it was unlikely that Albert Smith had committed suicide, he said that he could not rule out the possibility.
The post mortem heard that his larynx was fractured, but it was stated that because of his age that his larynx would have been more brittle. It was further noted that there were only slight markings on his skin.
The pathologist added that he thought that Albert Smith had most likely died when his tie was twisted and tightened around his neck, resulting in his heart stopping.
When the judge heard the medical evidence, he said that he was worried by it stating that the pathologists conclusions meant that the medical evidence was unreliable.
The judge also noted that he was also worried by other contradictory evidence between that of the prosecution and defence regarding the time that a defence witness said that they had seen Albert Smith alive and that of the milkman who gave evidence for the prosecution who said that Albert Smith must have been dead at the same time as he had not picked up the two pints of milk from his doorstep which he had left the previous day.
The judge noted that the only significant evidence that the prosecution had submitted was that of a man that said that the 23-year-old man had confessed to the murder to him as they drank together in the Golden Hind public house in Enfield.
It was also heard that the 23-year-old man had totally changed his appearance overnight and had given himself a Mohican style haircut from which he had got his nickname. However, when he appeared in court he had a normal haircut.
It was also heard that following his arrest, it was found that his fingerprints matched prints found at Albert Smith's house on a bowl, but the defence said that he could have left them there when he had been at Albert Smith's house a few days earlier working there with the gang of builders.
After the judge heard the evidence, he said, 'It would be quite unsafe to allow you to even think of reaching a verdict' and the 23-year-old man was acquitted.