Unsolved Murders

David Brickwood

Age: 74

Sex: male

Date: 26 Sep 2015

Place: 135 Lindsay Avenue, Abington, Northampton

David Brickwood was stabbed five times in his bed at his home during the early hours of 26 September 2015.

He managed to call the emergency service and was taken to hospital but died there the same day. He was later found to have had a total of 35 stab and blunt-force trauma injuries.

The murder weapon was never found.

It was thought that the burglars might have got into his house through a downstairs front window which was later scene boarded up after the murder. The police later said, 'What we do know is that the offenders have gained entry by removing the beading to the front window and removing a pane of glass to gain entry'.

The police later said that they thought that he had been attacked in a pre-planned robbery.

A neighbour said that they heard a commotion in the street in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Six people were arrested in connection with his murder during the initial investigation, but none of them were ever charged. A while later, in March 2018, a man was arrested on suspicion of murder, but no charges were made and then again in November 2018 a 32-year-old man was similarly arrested on suspicion of murder, but as before, no charges were made. In September 2019 the police said that they knew very little about his killers. The police said, 'We believe there's certainly more than one, at least two, and we're appealing for witnesses who may have seen or heard something around that time'.

David Brickwood was known to keep large amounts of money at his house and the police said that they believed that it was a robbery gone wrong and that it had not been the intention of the burglars to kill him. It was said that David Brickwood kept his money at home because he didn't trust banks and that it was well known that he didn't believe in bank accounts.

It was also suggested that he might have been targeted because of the metal that he had stored. He had a lot of metal stored in his back garden and also had a Mercedes car parked in his drive that was filled with metal and electrical devices. It was said that he would let local people help themselves to the stockpile he had hoarded. A neighbour said, 'People are saying a metal thief was trying to get hold of his stock when he disturbed them'.

In January 2017, the police searched Eastfield Park Lake in Northampton looking for clues. They said that they found a number of items, but later said that they were not connected to David Brickwood's murder. The police said that they had been looking for the murder weapon and other items that might have been stolen from his home during the murder. The police said that they had chosen to search Eastfield Park Lake because it was close to David Brickwood's home and because the murderer's might had used it in their escape route when fleeing the scene.

In September 2018 the police said that they had found new forensic leads which they thought could offer a breakthrough in the case based on new forensic techniques following which in November 2018 the eighth person was arrested on suspicion of murder.

It was also reported in October 2018 that David Brickwood's family were being threatened and intimidated, and had been since David Brickwood's murder. Two of their family vehicles also had had their windows smashed and tyres slashed in October 2018.

On 12 August 2020 the police arrested a 26-year-old man from London in connection with his murder and the man was charged with murder on 14 August 2020 and tried in April 2021 but acquitted after the judge ruled that the DNA evidence against him was 'plainly insufficient' agreed that there was no case to answer. After acquitting the man the judge said, 'You can only convict where there is sufficient evidence. Might-bes' are not good enough. That is the reason for the decision I have reached'.

The prosecution had said that the man's DNA was found in two areas of the crime scene.

It was said that the man's DNA had been found in a rubber window gasket that had been exposed by a window pane being removed during the burglary and the prosecution said that it had come to be there when the man had climbed in through the window on the night of the murder.

However, the judge noted that it could not be proved that it had been deposited there directly by the man and that the nature of the evidence meant that it was not fit to be put to the jury. The judge said, 'The agreed scientific position is that it cannot even be said that it is more likely that such DNA was deposited directly by then man in the course of committing these offences rather than by secondary transfer. Such evidence is plainly insufficient safely to be left to the jury. Probability is an insufficient basis for proof of a criminal charge. Indeed, in this case the position is even weaker. The experts cannot even say that primary transfer is more likely than secondary transfer'.

Other evidence that was brought up at the trial detailed two Ford Focus cars, one silver and the other black that were caught on an ANPR camera at Junction 15 on the M1 outside Northampton on the night of the murder and were later seen racing away from the scene of the murder after which no further trace of them was ever found. The police said that the two cars had been seen on the M1 at Junction 15 about half-an-hour before the murder after which it was shown that they drove up Park Avenue North, a road that led into Lindsay Avenue.

At the trial the police said, 'The next time the vehicles these vehicles were seen was at 2.02am when they were seen driving southbound on Park Avenue North, driving away from the scene. This was one minute before the 999 call at 2.03am by Mr Brickwood'.

They noted that both cars had been registered to two individuals in Dagenham and were never seen again following the night of the murder, the police saying, 'There is no record on the DVLA of the cars being reregistered or transferred since this day, or receiving an MOT or being insured'.

At the trial the prosecution had said that there were no eyewitnesses to call over the murder and that the case was based on 'very good' circumstantial evidence suggesting that the man had gone to David Brickwood's home with other people in the two cars and broken in to steal David Brickwood's money and had killed him in the process of doing so.

It was heard that the 999 call that David Brickwood had made lasted 10 seconds in which David Brickwood was heard to say, 'Help me'.

It was reported that after the police arrived they found that David Brickwood only appeared to be bleeding from the shin and that he was laid on his back after which he appeared to stop breathing and CPR was applied. He was taken to the hospital where he later died having suffered multiple stab and blunt force trauma wounds.

David Brickwood was a scrap metal dealer. He was noted for being caught on the Google Street View mapping surveillance system two months before his death, wearing a hi-visibility vest and talking to a person over his wall.

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