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Charlie Stead murder - BBC Crimewatch appeal

02 Jul 2007

The PSNI can confirm that detectives are following a definite line of enquiry in the investigation into the murder of 92 years old Charlie Stead.

Senior Investigating Officer, Acting Detective Superintendent Jeff Smyth said:

"Following an appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch UK programme on July 2 2007, a number of calls were received from the public. Those calls may go some way in helping us discover who killed Charlie. We are very grateful for the public's help and would like to thank Crimewatch UK for their assistance with our appeals. "

Charlie was found dead on February 26 2007 in a back bedroom of his house at Canberra Park, Dundonald, County Down. Neighbours had noticed that he had not collected the milk from his front door, and became concerned, as Charlie was a very active man for his age and a creature of habit.

The detective said that Mr Stead had lived in the house since 1963, and led a very active life:
“He was a fit man, and made a daily walk to the shops for groceries from his house in Canberra Park into Dundonald Town. In his younger years, he was a member of the Royal Navy.”

Appearing on Crimewatch UK, A/Det/Supt Smyth said Charlie had suffered a head injury from a blow consistent with a car crash or a fall from a multi story building. The force of the blow caused multiple fractures across Charlie's skull.

Part of the Crimewatch appeal centred around a digital likeness of a man who police believe may have vital information about Charlie's death.

A/Det/Supt Smyth said:

"We are hoping that this photograph which is a digital likeness of a male, may jog someone's memory. If you recognise this man, or indeed it is you, please contact police and tell us if you know what happened to Charlie."

The second part of the appeal was about a burgundy coloured Ford Focus car. Officers believe a car of this description was outside Charlie's house prior to his death.

A/Det Supt Smyth said Charlie had been seen by neighbours in the days before his death, and made an appeal for the public to come forward if they noticed anything suspicious:

"It is important that the public talks to us. We are particularly interested in speaking to anyone who saw a burgundy coloured Ford Focus car, which was seen outside Charlie's house before his body was found. Someone, either close to where Charlie lived or perhaps elsewhere, may have seen or heard something in the few days prior to the murder. No matter how insignificant you think the information is, please come forward. You can contact police on 101 Non Emergency Number, or you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."