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Unsolved Murders

Brian Hayward

Age: 51

Sex: male

Date: 4 Jul 1988

Place: Burwood Place, Marble Arch, London

Source: www.courtnewsuk.co.uk

Brian Hayward was shot in the head at near point blank range in Marble Arch on 4 July 1988.

The bullet had gone straight through his head and it was said that he had been dead before he hit the ground.

A 26-year-old surveyor who worked for him was tried for his murder but acquitted. After the surveyor was acquitted the police said that they were not looking for anyone else and had closed their investigation.

The jury took 45 minutes to return their unanimous not guilty verdict.

Brian Hayward was shot with a Luger pistol in an underground carpark in Marble Arch after leaving work.

He was the head of the surveyor’s department at Chestertons Estate Agency on Seymour Street, Marble Arch, a company described as being internationally famous and the surveyor reported to him.

He usually left his office at about 6.45pm and arrived home around 8pm and was described as a creature of habit.

He drove a company BMW which was kept in a high security underground car park in Marble Arch that required a plastic entry card to gain access to.

A shot was heard at about 7pm and the police arrived within 10 minutes. It was said that the police thought that his murder had appeared so professional that they first thought that he had been the victim of an underworld execution or an act of terrorism.

However, it was said that the police could find no reason why anyone would want to murder him, describing him as a man without enemies. He had been happily married for 27 years and had two grown up children, aged 24 and 23 and at the time of his murder he had been studying for a degree in law at Guildford University.

He had worked for Chestertons Estate Agency for 35 years and had been a partner with the firm since 1973.

However, when the police asked for a statement from all of the staff in Brian Hayward's department, they found that the surveyor acted strangely and asked to speak to a solicitor before he gave an account of his movements. It was heard that when he did make his statement, he said that he had been opening up a gym at 7pm where he was having a karate class and that he had never had any problems with Brian Hayward. However, it was later determined that the time he had given was wrong and that he had been reprimanded by Brian Hayward previously three times.

It was heard that Brian Hayward had threatened to dismiss the surveyor two weeks before he was murdered. It was said that he had reprimanded the surveyor in writing three times in the previous five months and had added in his last letter, 'Further failure in this respect will provide grounds for dismissal'.

The three warnings were:

  1. Using company notepaper for private matters.
  2. Verbally and physically abusing a woman member of staff.
  3. Sub-standard work.

It was also heard that the other members at the karate class at the gym denied that the surveyor had been there by 7pm and that one of them said that the surveyor had reminded him not to forget his alibi, adding, 'It can mean 10 or 15 years to me'.

Following their investigation, the police developed the theory that the surveyor had shot Brian Hayward because he was holding his career back.

The surveyor had been a former Territorial Army paratrooper. It was said that whilst he appeared to have a successful yuppy style job, that he actually lived at home with his mother in a terraced house in Peckham and that many of his friends were criminals and that he had had a luger pistol and a sawn-off shotgun in his bedroom and worked part time as a bouncer and was a loner

When the police spoke to a number of his friends, one of them told them that the surveyor had admitted murdering Brian Hayward, and another said that he had shown them the Luger pistol and let him fire it.

However, at the trial, the surveyor said that he had been set up and that two of his friends had given perjured evidence against him in order to claim the £25,000 reward money. He described them as being 'money grabbing opportunists'. He said that the five prosecution witnesses that gave evidence against him had plotted to put him behind bars for a crime he did not commit.

He said that at the time Brian Hayward was shot that he had been travelling home from work.

At the trial the surveyor had admitted that he was ambitious and had used positive thinking techniques. It was heard that he had written down his life goals on cards that he carried about with him. Goals included:

  • A valuable town house.
  • A furnished flat.
  • A sports car.
  • Becoming a Freemason.
  • Becoming a Chartered Surveyor.

It was further heard that on other cards, he had detailed aspects of his character that he wanted to assert and that one of the cards had read, 'I am highly ambitious, naturally political, totally ruthless and a winner'.

The court also heard that four of the surveyor's friend said that the surveyor had owned a handgun with three of them saying that it was a Luger, which the prosecution said was the type of gun that had been used to shoot Brian Hayward.

It was also heard at the trial that one of the surveyor's friends had said that he had driven the surveyor to Tower Bridge where he had thrown the Luger into the River Thames.

The court also heard from another one of the surveyor's friends, a man that had once worked as a nightclub doorman with him, who said that the surveyor had taken him to a park once late at night and had handed him the Luger pistol and let him fire it.

Another of his friends said that following the murder, the surveyor had stored the Luger pistol in his garage for a while.

Another of his friends even said that the surveyor had admitted to shooting Brian Hayward to him.

However, after hearing the evidence of some of the surveyor's friends, the judge warned the jury to be careful when considering their statements, noting that one of them had three previous convictions and another had two convictions.

When the prosecution noted that Brian Hayward had threatened to sack the surveyor for misconduct, the surveyor said that it was ridiculous to suggest that he had any reason to murder Brian Hayward. He said, 'I admired and respected Mr Hayward. He was very good at his job. I liked him. He was hard but fair. Mr Hayward was right to reprimand me. I knew I had done wrong and I was over apologetic. I didn't consider this a real problem'.

It was heard that when the surveyor heard that Brian Hayward had been murdered that he had said that he was stunned. He said, 'I remember sitting down and trying to take it all in. I couldn't believe it'.

It was claimed at the trial that he had lied about the time that he had arrived at the  gym on the evening of the murder, but the surveyor said that that was not true and that he had simply been mistaken.

The prosecution also claimed that the surveyor had thrown his Barbour jacket, which he had been wearing on the day of the murder, and the gun into the River Thames, but the surveyor said that he had lost it on a train on the day after Brian Hayward was shot.

The prosecution also claimed that the surveyor had had a fascination with guns, but he said that he found them boring.

Whilst he was being cross-examined, the prosecution said, 'You are a highly intelligent and skilful liar. You make things up as you go along', to which the surveyor replied, 'I am not a liar'.

It was noted that the surveyor had graduated top of his year at the Thames Polytechnic.


*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.


see "Trainee killed his boss, court told." Times [London, England] 4 July 1989: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 2 Oct. 2015.

see Andrew Morgan. "Surveyor is cleared of murdering office chief." Times [London, England] 18 July 1989: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 2 Oct. 2015.

see Irish Independent - Tuesday 18 July 1989