Unsolved Murders

Ronald James

Age: 34

Sex: male

Date: 18 Mar 1991

Place: Fifth Avenue Bar, Paradise Street, Liverpool

Ronald James was stabbed at his bar, Fifth Avenue Bar, in Liverpool city centre.

He was a pub manager and was said to have put up a terrific fight.

His body was found by his wife in a private corridor at the bar at around 1am on 17 March 1991.

He had been stabbed 12 times with a long-bladed knife, with one wound piercing his heart, but no money was taken.

The police later said that they were trying to trace a man who was seen by a taxi-driver in Fleet Street on the night at about 4am.

The police later arrested a 39-year old man and charged him with murder, burglary, attempted burglary, attempted theft and possession of a controlled drug, but the murder charge was dropped after one of the witnesses, the man's sister, said that her original statements were untrue and the Crown Prosecution Service withdrew the case against him.

It was heard that the sister had originally said that the man had arrived at her home on the night of the murder in an agitated state and with a package containing a knife and a chisel. She had then said that when he had again later called, she had asked him what he had been doing that night and had said that he had replied, 'You have heard about it on the radio, the Fifth Avenue. I was turkeying, my head was chokka, we panicked, I never got the takings'.

His sister then told the police that she had thrown the knife into the river but it was never recovered.

The police said that when they asked the man's sister why she had made her original statement and then later withdrawn it, she said that her brother had suggested the account to her. She said that their intention was to have him arrested so that he could break his heroin addiction and gain custody of his children.

It was noted that the man was serving seven years imprisonment in August 1992 for two counts of armed robbery.

The bar reopened on Saturday 6 April 1991. The bar, described as a trendy nightspot, had 28 staff, all of whom had been working at the bar at the time of the murder and all of whom expressed a wish to continue working there, although it was heard that the brewers, Bass, had offered transfers to anyone that had reservations about returning.

His inquest on 16 August 1992 recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

Ronald James had lived above the pub with his wife and three-year old daughter. He had run pubs for many years and had previously worked at the Atmosphere nightclub as well as at Milton's, both in Birkenhead as well as at Bonker's on Liverpool Dock Road.

Fifth Avenue Bar had previously been called the Triton.

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

see www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk

see Liverpool Echo - Monday 18 March 1991

see Newcastle Evening Chronicle - Monday 18 March 1991

see Liverpool Echo - Saturday 06 April 1991

see Liverpool Echo - Tuesday 16 April 1991

see Liverpool Echo - Monday 18 March 1991

see Liverpool Echo - Tuesday 06 August 1991

see Liverpool Echo - Wednesday 26 August 1992