Attempted murder in a Camberley restuarant

1980s: Derek Cordery: Camberley attempted murder in a restaurant in the town opposite the Academy Vince McFadden was Officer in Case.

Mo Clark: I was first on the scene. The lady did not actually die though a very close thing! It was a Greek restaurant Athenian Taverna. I knew the Greek Cypriot guy who owned and ran it and he was the only suspect but there was not enough evidence to prove he had committed the crime. He was arrested, charged and held on remand but the case failed at the old style committal stage.

Interestingly the victim was his wife. She never believed he did it or organised it and went back to him after she recovered. Last I heard they moved back to Cyprus. They were definitely Greek Cypriot. The friend I used to go to the restaurant with is half Greek and they used to chat away in Greece. The restaurant used to be a cafe called the Brown Jug I think. Now it is a Thai restaurant. It is on what we call the 'A30 Service Road' near the junction with the High Street.

Malcolm Sutton: As I recall the owner was thought to have taken out £100,000 extra insurance on his wife then it was alleged that he and another man tried to beat her to death. The lady had very bad head injuries some twenty two fractures to the skull with the brain seeping out. As a part of the Firearms Support Team we provided security at the hospital.

Alan Hurlow: With regards to the murder in a restaurant on the A30 Camberley. I was working in the Major Incident Room at Camberley police station. Frank Hemment was the detective inspector office manager. I think it was the owner of the restaurant who was murdered and the area she was stabbed (the knife went in by her shoulder/neck area) it was thought that someone with army/special forces training may have been responsible.

Dave Harriott: It was an attempt murder, I was on Firearms at the time and they used us as protection for the victim. The restaurant was owned by a husband and wife and it was alleged that the husband was fed up with his wife and also had debts, so he it was thought he decided to do her in and collect the insurance.

The allegation was that through some of the soldiers that used the place he was put in contact with a local Paratrooper from Deepcut and a contract was taken out on the wife. It was said he paid up front and the Para was given instructions on how to enter the restaurant one night after closing time, when the husband would arrange to go home early leaving the wife alone there clearing up.

The Para it is alleged went in about midnight when she was alone in the restaurant. He beat her senseless with a baseball bat and he believed he had killed her. That was the contract; it was supposed to look like a botched cash robbery. Thinking she was dead he then left. She was found that night (I think a member of staff returned to the restaurant for something) and was still alive but only barely, being taken to intensive care at Frimley Park hospital and put on machines to keep her alive.

CID enquiries quickly pointed the finger at the husband who was brought in within a few days (possibly the very next day) and as I recall immediately confessed. Police went to the barracks (3 Para) and made enquiries but the soldier had gone AWOL.

Interviews with his Para mates revealed him to be a very disturbed man who, once having learnt that his victim was still alive, would consider it a matter of honour to fulfil the contract. It was considered a very real threat that he would go to Frimley Park hospital and finish the job.

I and other members of the old Firearms Support Team Firearms team (Mick Wayland was in charge back then) worked shifts at Intensive Care inside the hospital dressed as Doctors (all long white coats and stuff, with concealed handguns) and hung around for weeks waiting for this madman to turn up. He never did (I think he was eventually arrested elsewhere) but we were a great hit with the nurses. I think the victim eventually recovered.

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