Date: 23 Aug 1990
Paul Stevens was found dead, floating face down in the Grand Union Canal, near the Hayes Bypass, just behind the Nestles factory in Southall at 5.45am on Thursday, 23 August 1990.
It was thought that he was murdered at about 4.45am on 23 August 1990.
He was last seen the night before at about 10pm on 22 August 1990, about three or four miles away, at the Chariot public house in Hounslow High Street. He had been drinking earlier at the Tankerville public house nearby, also in Hounslow High Street from about 5.45pm and had arrived at the Chariot pub at about 9pm.
He was last seen by the barman there who served him with two pints of larger at about 10pm. The barman said that he remembered him particularly because Paul Stevens normally drank half pints.
It was not known how he had got from Hounslow High Street to the Grand Union Canal and Southall/Hayes.
Paul Stevens was 33 years old, about 5ft 5in tall, about nine stone and had a full dark beard and dark hair. On the night he was murdered he had been wearing a pink shirt, a purple and blue striped jumper that he had tied around his waist, grey/black patterned trousers and grey shoes with no socks.
His post-mortem showed that he had been hit on the back of the head by at least two blows with a blunt instrument and had a fractured skull. The murder weapon was never found. The police said that they searched the banks of the canal as well as carrying out an underwater search for it, but without success.
Although he was found dead in the canal, the person that found him had first seen large amounts of blood on the towpath at that point indicating that he had been violently assaulted before going into the water.
Paul Stevens was a homosexual and although there was no known motive, the police said that they had not ruled out the possibility that there was a homophobic motive behind his murder.
He was said to have been very effeminate in his mannerisms and speech.
There were no signs that he had been robbed as he still had £20 in his pocket, or that he had put up a struggle.
The police said that whilst they didn't know of the motive behind Paul Stevens's murder, they did say that they knew that he had had sexual contact with a man or men on the night before he died. The police later appealed for anyone that had had sexual contact with him to come forward to see if they could help with the enquiry or anyone else in the gay community that could help.
Paul Stevens was an unemployed barman and had lived in Belvedere Road in Hounslow West. Although he had lived with his brother, he spent most of his time at a woman friends’ house where he would sleep on the sofa.
On the morning of the day he died, he had left the woman's flat saying that he was going to meet a man about some bar work. However, the woman said that she later met Paul Stevens in the pub and said that he told her that the man had not turned up. It was later revealed that he did later meet the man, but that the man had lied to Paul Stevens in order to wind him up and that there was no job. When Paul Stevens left the pub after meeting the woman that he mostly lived with, he asked her to leave the door on the latch which the woman said she later thought was odd as Paul Stevens would always knock before coming into her flat, no matter what time of day it was. However, he didn't go home that night.
At the time the police said that they were interested in speaking to two men who Paul Stevens had been seen speaking to earlier in the night and released artists impressions of them.
The first was a man that Paul Stevens had been seen talking to in the Tankerville pub in Hounslow. The man had initially been one of three men that Paul Stevens had been talking to there and had brown hair and had been wearing a suit.
The second man was a man that he had been seen speaking to later in the Chariot pub where he stayed until about 10pm. He was seen speaking to the man by a girl that had just turned 18. She said that Paul Stevens spoke to her and that when the man that he was with turned up, he introduced him to her as his brother although he wasn't. It was however noted that Paul Stevens often introduced friends to other people as his brother. The man was described as being aged 19 to 21, quite tall and with blond hair and blue eyes.
The police also said that they were interested in speaking to anyone who had walked along the Grand Union Canal towpath between 10pm on 22 August and 6am the following day, or anyone who knew why Paul Stevens might have been in the Hayes/Southall area.
Although there was no known reason why Paul Stevens would have been in the Southall area as he lived three miles away and was not known to go to Southall, during the police investigation, they did find a witness who said that they had seen Paul Stevens about three weeks before his death sat in the garden of the Grand Junction Arms pub having a drink which was noted as having been not far from where he was later found dead.
At an appeal in 2002 the police said that they were interested in tracing a man who drank in the Tankerville pub, saying that he was about 25-years-old, over 6ft tall, with blond hair and with an athletic build. He was possibly thought to have been from Australia or New Zealand.
The police said that they were also interested in speaking to two witnesses who gave evidence at the time.
The first was a woman who had been about 23-years-old at the time and who had lived in Hounslow and who had been an occupational therapist.
The other witness was a woman who had been about 18-years-old at the time and who had worked as a barmaid at the Hussar pub.