Police appeal after murder of secretive London millionaire

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Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information after a property developer was found murdered at his home in West Kensington.

Officers returned to Dewhurst Road in a bid to extend appeals to those who live and work in the area, via the handing out of leaflets and disseminating a Bluetooth message to mobile devices.

Just before 4pm on 21 October, officers found 58-year-old William John Saunderson-Smith, commonly known as ‘John’, dead at his home in Dewhurst Road, W14.

A post mortem gave cause of death as head injury caused by blunt trauma, but no weapon was recovered.

Forensic officers searching homes in Dewhurst Road, W14, and Sedlescombe Road, SW6, seized approximately £150,000 in cash found in several plastic bags, lying about in the properties.

Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Howard Groves said: “At present details regarding Mr Saunderson-Smith’s life, and the events leading up to his death, remain sketchy.

“Whilst local enquiries are ongoing, we are now extending our appeals to anyone who knew Mr Saunderson-Smith from his frequent visits to gay clubs in and around the Old Brompton Road and Kennington areas. This could be crucial in assisting us to build a complete picture about his life.

“I must stress that we are not treating this as a homophobic crime, however we are keeping an open mind as to the reasons behind his murder.

“We understand that Mr Saunderson-Smith had a number of people in his life though business and leisure interests, I am urging anyone who knew him to contact us.”

Anyone with any information is urged to contact the incident room on 020 8247 7821; if you wish to remain anonymous please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.