Unsolved Murders

Richard Miles

Age: 29

Sex: male

Date: 10 Mar 1993

Place: Newtown, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Richard Miles was stabbed in his back garden in the hamlet of Newtown, near Stonehouse, Gloucestershire.

Three men were arrested on suspicion of murder on 13 November 2013 but were later released without charge on 30 January 2014. The arrests were made after a man call the police and confessed to the murder. His confession led to him being arrested along with the two other men, but it was thought that his confession was false, and the men were all later released.

Richard Miles worked at Martin Pollards garage in Frampton-on-Severn as a panel beater which was about three miles from his home. He specialised in sports cars and classic cars and had been working there for the last ten years.

He had gone home for lunch at 1pm but didn't return and was found by his mother, a nurse at Standish Hospital at about 3.30pm.

The knife used to kill Richard Miles had come from his own kitchen and was later found near his body in the garden.

It was said that Richard Miles had appeared preoccupied in the weeks leading up to his death and that it was thought that whatever was worrying him might have been connected with his death.

His mother said that he was terrible about getting up in the mornings and was always late for work, leaving at about 10am or 10.30am.

His boss at Martin Pollards garage said that Richard Miles was always late for work in the mornings but said that he always made his time up and was always the last to leave at night and always got the job done. His boss said that it was a labour-intensive job and that he was very good at it.

Richard Miles's boss said that Richard Miles had been preoccupied in the last few weeks but said that no one knew why and said that they didn't like to ask.

It was heard that sometime in the middle of January 1993, the woman that lived next door to Richard Miles said that in the middle of the day, around lunchtime, she heard a disturbance and some shouting coming from Richard Miles's house and that when she went out she saw the back of a man leaving in a hurry and said that she then saw Richard Miles come out but said that he ignored her, which was unusual and drove off in a hurry. She said that the voices she had heard were angry voices and so she thought she would go and have a nose but that when she reached the back door the argument had stopped. She said that she then went outside and saw the back of the man walking off up the drive. She said then that Richard Miles stormed out and then stopped to look at her and that she then asked, 'Alright?' but that he ignored her and went off. She said that she was surprised by that as he had never cut her dead before and that it was totally out of character.

His neighbour noted that when she saw Richard Miles a couple of days later, he seemed all right and didn't mention the argument.

However, it was noted that whatever his worries, Richard Miles carried on with his normal routine, which included going to the pub with his closest friend most nights of the week.

One of Richard Miles's close friends said that Richard Miles was a very good friend of his and said that they grew up together and did a lot of things together. He said that Richard Miles was a bit of a one-man band type of person. He said that they had a very small circle of friends and said that they did things in that small circle. The friend said that they never really had any reason to argue or disagree about anything at all. His friend added that he didn't think that Richard Miles could have started an argument or anything like that with anyone really.

Richard Miles's mother said that she would always wait for him to come home, saying that he would usually come home at about 11.40pm at night and then take their dog Rusty out for a walk.

On the Tuesday night, 9 March 1993, Richard Miles got home at the usual time and at about midnight he went out with the dog for a walk. He would often walk along the canal with the dog and it was noted that he often smoked cannabis and would smoke some whilst out with his dog along the tow path.

It was noted that Richard Miles spent very little money, but that he would regularly buy quantities of cannabis and always enjoyed a smoke by the canal.

The next day at lunchtime, Wednesday 10 March 1993, after going into work as usual, he went home for lunch at about 1pm. It was said that he usually bought sandwiches from a nearby petrol station that he would take home to eat, but it was heard that no one remembered seeing him that day. However, it was known that he had gone home as a witness remembered seeing his car.

However, an hour later, Richard Miles should have been back at work, but he didn't arrive and so his boss called him, but got no reply.

Shortly after, at about 2.35pm, a man was driving past at the back of Richard Miles's cottage and said that he saw two men in a field which he said made him inquisitive. He said that they looked as though they were squaring up for a fight. The man said that then, a couple of hundred yards further along the road he saw an attractive young lady pushing a child in a buggy and heading towards the field that the two men were in.

A while later, Richard Miles's boss said that he had become quite worried and went to look for him. He said that it was so unlike Richard Miles to be late back from lunch that he thought that he might have had an accident or broken down. However, he said that when he drove past Richard Miles's house, he saw that his car was there in his drive and thought that Richard Miles might not want to see him and so drove on.

At about 4.40pm a schoolgirl was jogging alongside the canal about half a mile away from Newtown when she came across a man with long hair that was just standing there. She said that he just stared at her and that it was clear that he wasn't going to move out of her way and so backed up and went around him and carried on running for another half a mile. She said that he had a stain on his right elbow. She described the man as in his early 20s, with a slim build, and of medium height with shoulder length dark straggly hair which she said was unkempt.

It was thought that Richard Miles had been stabbed to death about an hour before the schoolgirl's encounter with the man on the towpath.

It was also noted that another person also saw the man on the towpath shortly before the the schoolgirl saw him and the police said that they were interested in the speaking to the man and asked him to come forward and released a photofit of him.

The police later said that they could think of no motive as why anyone should have wanted to harm Richard Miles at all. They described him as a very quiet individual and noted that he would occasionally travel to the Bristol and Cardiff areas, mainly to listen to live music, but sometimes to buy cannabis. However, they said that he simply bought the drugs for his own use, occasionally selling some to his close friends, but said that in no way did they consider him to have been a drug dealer.

The police added that they had tried to trace anyone that Richard Miles might have met in Bristol and Cardiff who he might have bought cannabis from but said that they had had very little response and appealed for anyone that knew him in the Bristol and Cardiff areas to come forward.

The police also noted that witnesses reported seeing two cars in the area, the first was a red MG car which was seen not far from Richard Miles's home and the second was a light coloured Cavalier that had its front offside wheel trim missing that was seen less than 200 yards from Richard Miles's home. The police said that they were interested in tracing both vehicles.

The police noted that they also had witnesses tell them about seeing a pale-blue mountain bike that was left against the side of a notice board by a gate not far from Richard Miles's home that they wanted to trace the owner of.

The police also noted that there had been joggers in the area that they said surprisingly had not come forward.

They also said that they were interested in speaking to the woman seen with the child buggy that was seen walking towards the field that the two men had been in. She was said to have been in her early 20s and to have had fair hair and wearing a jacket that was open at the front and to have been walking from the direction of the services towards Newtown.

The police added that they thought that somebody somewhere other than the murderer knew the truth about Richard Miles's murder, either knowing precisely why he met his death or who actually murdered him, and they also asked for that person to come forward.

During their investigation the police stopped 1,140 vehicles at a road block through Newtown that lasted for three and a half hours and which caused massive tail-backs towards the motorway and spoke to 277 drivers that had passed through Newtown at the time.

At his inquest, the coroner returned an open verdict stating that there was not enough evidence about the stabbing.

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