The father and daughter found murdered in Deptford were strangled to death and attempts made by the killer to dismember and conceal the man’s body, detectives disclosed today.
It was also disclosed that Noel Brown, 69, who lived in New Butt Lane in Deptford was a registered sex offender after being convicted of a sexual assault in 1999; he served four years in prison. However, police said a link between the sex offence and murder was not “screaming out”.
Detective Superintendent Paul Monk, overseeing the investigation, said: “He was convicted and served time and was released in 2004 but I’m not prepared to give any more details.”
There is not yet any evidence to support the theory that Brown, known for frequenting local betting shops, was murdered because of a substantial winnings, according to police, who said they were keeping an “open mind” about any motive.
Police are also said to believe there is a “strong possibility” that his daughter Marie Brown, 41, disturbed the attackers as they tried to dismember her father’s body. Post-mortem examinations disclosed both were strangled and that attempts were made to dismember and hide the man’s body; no attempt was made to dismember his daughter’s body.
Their bodies were found in Noel Brown’s flat in the early hours of Monday morning. Police were contacted by a member of his daughter’s family early on December 4 after she failed to return to her home in Southwark having been to check on the welfare of her father.
Her father, said police, had “a significant routine” but was not seen after Thursday, November 30. It is known that Noel Brown frequented his local betting shop, Paddy Power, in Deptford High Street and had been there on November 30.
Monk said: “We know that Noel was last seen alive and well at his home by a neighbour at about 8pm on November 30. Marie, having grown increasingly anxious about her Dad’s wellbeing, went to visit him at about midday on Saturday, December 2. That is the last sighting of Marie alive.”
Police want to contact two men who they know visited Noel Brown’s flat in the days prior to his death. With no signs of forced entry to the property, the enquiry is looking to establish if the victims’ attacker or attackers were known to Brown and if his daughter disturbed them.
Monk said: “There has been speculation that his murder was as a result of a large gambling win, however at this time there is no evidence to suggest this was the case.
“I am asking for the public’s help as part of our investigation into the murder of Noel and his daughter Marie. Our investigation is fast moving and making progress every day. I want to reassure people that we are doing all we can to find those responsible for the murders of Noel and Marie.”
Officers are carrying out extensive local enquiries around the murder scene, collecting hours of CCTV and carrying out full forensic searches of the areas in and around his flat.
Marie Brown was a crèche leader at a Nunhead primary school with an 18-year-old daughter and a nine-year-old daughter with autism. Specially trained family liaison officers are supporting the family.
Anyone with any information can contact the police incident room on 0208 721 4205 or the police on 101. People can also tweet police @MetCC or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.