Date: 4 May 1994
Ronald Cousins was stabbed to death at his home in Chelmsford, Essex.
He was a devout Christian and a page from the Bible had been ripped out and stuffed into his mouth. His face was also covered in thick white paint or spray painted.
He had also been throttled.
Ronald Cousins was disabled and lived alone. He was born in the house at 5 Anchor Street, the same house he died in.
He was a Christian and it was heard that he would often let vagrants and homeless people stay at his house.
Ronald Cousins was found by his neighbours after they noticed that water was coming out of his overfow pipe from a bath and that his curtains were still drawn. When they went round to the back of his terraced house they found the door was open and when they went inside they saw that the rooms in his house were wrecked with things overturned and the bath overflowing from a tap that had been left running.
They then found Ronald Cousins lying on his living room floor with a red-raw ligature mark around his neck and stab wounds to his back, neck and chest.
There was a kitchen knife left on his torso although it was noted that it was not the murder weapon, and pages from the Bible had been stuffed in his mouth.
The police said that they still had the pages from the bible that had been stuffed in his mouth but said that for operational purposes they were not detailing the contents from those pages although they said that they formed a significant part in their investigation.
It was heard that it was not known whether the paint had been significant in relation to Ronald Cousins's murder, such as the murderer having been a painter and decorator. However, a neighbour said that they had seen the paint previously in Ronald Cousins's house. As such, it was thought that there was a large pool of potential suspects for his murder.
However, the police found £700 in cash that Ronald Cousins had apparently hidden in his oven that was left untouched.
A car salesman was questioned over Ronald Cousins's murder but later released without charge although he was later convicted of burglary at Ronald Cousins's house. He was first questioned by the police the day after the murder.
A 16-year-old was also questioned the day after the murder but was not charged.
The police said that they were able to speak to all the people for whom they had found fingerprints for at the house.
When the police examined the scene they found the car salesman's fingerprints on the front door and furniture in the home. He was found to have been a habitual burglar but initially denied burgling Ronald Cousins's home as well as denying his murder. However, the car salesman later admitted to burgling Ronald Cousins's house on 2 March 1994. He also later admitted to burgling Ronald Cousins house in February 1994. He said that on 2 March 1994, about six weeks before Ronald Cousins was murdered, he climbed into his house after breaking a window and stole £200 in cash and two Midland cheque books. He was later convicted for the 2 March 1994 burglary.
The police said that witnesses had said that they had seen a person standing on Ronald Cousins's doorstep on the day he was murdered. He was said to have been wearing a cream-type bomber jacket and deck shoes and to have been a bit on the scruffy side with longish hair. However, the man was never identified or traced.
It was noted that an 82-year-old man, a cannon with the clergy, that had lived in Tolleshunt D'Arcy, not far from Chelmsford, had been robbed five days earlier. He had been tied up and gagged, and kicked, but the police said that they were not linking that incident with Ronald Cousins's murder.
Three people were later arrested in relation to his murder in 2005, but none of them were charged.
Ronald Cousins's nephew said that he used to go and see Ronald Cousins and recalled that he would often have people round that he didn't know and said that he should be careful as something might happen to him.
Ronald Cousinsn had been a milkman and had lived his whole life in Chelmsford other than during the second world war when he had served in India as a medic.
Ronald Cousinsn was a Christian and regularly went to Christchurch United Reformed Church and Elim Church as well as visiting the Salvation Army.