Unsolved Murders

Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes

Age: 27

Sex: female

Date: 5 Apr 1995

Place: Moselle Avenue, Wood Green

Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes was killed at her flat.

She had been a barmaid.

A barman that she had worked with previously at the Jolly Anglers pub near Wood Green station, initially confessed to her murder, but later said that it was another man that had killed her.

Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes was found dead in her sitting room by her lodger. Her throat had been cut twice and she had multiple injuries all over her body.

The lodger that found her the morning after the murder at 7.10am said that she was so badly mutilated that he thought that World War Three had started. He said that the scene was a scene of carnage and that there was blood everywhere.

The barman that confessed to her murder initially said that he had had sex with her minutes before he stabbed her adding that when he got up to say that he was going home to his girlfriend she took up a knife and that there was a struggle during which he stabbed her multiple times.

He had initially said that after leaving the Jolly Anglers pub he had driven her home and that  he had never seen her again.

However, a couple of days after the murder he confessed, but when he was later tried he said that he didn't do it and named another man as the murderer.

He said that there was bad feeling between Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes, who was divorcing her husband, and his girlfriend who also worked at the Jolly Anglers pub. He added that Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes had made allegations against him and his girlfriend after some wheelnuts were removed from the wheels on her Mini and the wheel fell off. He said that after the allegations he and his girlfriend left the Jolly Anglers pub and went to work at The Rat and Carrot pub, in Lordship Lane, Wood Green.

The barman said that he had been to the Jolly Anglers pub on the night of 5 April 1995 for a late-night drinking session and that he later went into the cellar to help out for old times' sake and that Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes followed him down and invited him to come back to her place later that night.

The barman said that he took up her offer and later went back to her place where he had sex with her on the sofa, but said that when he told Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes that he needed to get back home as his girlfriend would be worried about where he was, she became upset and started slagging off his girlfriend and that she then went to the kitchen and came out with a knife. She said that when she came out with the knife she said, 'This is for your girlfriend'.

The barman said that he could not explain how her throat was cut but said that at some stage he became covered in blood.

When she was found the following morning, she was lying naked on the floor and was covered in blood.

After the lodger first called the police, he was initially arrested for her murder himself.

However, the barman was said to have later told a colleague at work that it was he that had murdered Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes. The colleague at The Rat and Carrot pub said, 'He just turned around and said it was him who had killed Phoebe. He said it more than once'.

After he confessed, he was interviewed by the police and repeated his version of events to them several times.

However, at the trial he denied the murder and said that it was another man. The other man was called to the court, but he vehemently denied murdering Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes.

He said that Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes had actually invited him back to her flat to discuss his possible involvement in a counterfeiting racket, saying that the idea was to put the money through the till of the Rat and Carrot pub. He said that whilst he was there there was a knock at the door and Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes told him to hide in the toilet. He said that whilst he was in the toilet he heard the sound of voices and that when the person went and he came out he saw that Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes had a holdall bulging with cash. He said that they then had sex but were interrupted by another knock at the door which he answered after getting dressed. However, he said that there was no one there and that he then left the house. However, he said that he then went back when he found that he had left his ring at the house but that when he went back in he saw Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes in a life and death struggle with the man that he named as the murderer.

He said that he tried to get the man off of Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes but that he got knocked in the mouth and that the man then came over to him. He said that Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes then tried to stop the man by grabbing hold of him and that the man then cut her in the throat.

The barman said that he then heard the sound of a second man which told him that he should not say anything about what had happened, and the barman said that he agreed that he wouldn't say anything. He said that the second man then told him that he had to take the blame and that if he said anything his girlfriend and mother would be hurt, and he said that he agreed. In court he said, 'I'm still scared. I should not even be saying this. I am scared for my girlfriend and my mother. I don't want them to get hurt'. He said that he had been too terrified to say anything about it to the police about what really happened and so made up the story about Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes coming at him with a knife.

It was also heard that whilst the barman had been on remand in Brixton prison that he had given a similar account of what happened to a cellmate and a prison officer.

He named the first man that had cut Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes's throat as the man he called in court and said that the name of the second man was either a first-name that he gave or Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes's lodger.

The court heard that psychological tests showed that the barman's intelligence bordered on mental retardation and that his reading ability was that of an eight-year-old.

However, the prosecution said that the barman's allegations about the other barman might have been concocted with the help of his girlfriend and further noted that there had been bad feeling between Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes and the barman's girlfriend. The prosecution also noted that Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes had previously made allegations against the barman and his girlfriend after the nuts on her car wheel were loosened and the wheel fell off.

However, after four hours deliberation the jury acquitted the barman.

After the barman was acquitted the police said that they were not looking for anyone else in connection with Phoebe Salusbury-Hughes's murder.

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