Burglar claims Robert Symon’s death ‘bad luck’

Accused says death in Airedale Avenue was an accident

  Related Links

Picture from Press Association

Burglar kills man on Airedale Avenue


If you are concerned about being burgled, Chiswick Crime Prevention Officers will call at your home to give you advice about security.

Call 020 8247 6423.

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

The trial of Yousef Bouhaddao, the man accused of murdering Chiswick school teacher Robert Symons at his Airedale Avenue home began this week at the Old Bailey.

Yousef Bouhaddao, who was arrested shortly after the murder of 45 year old Robert Symons, has pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder and of burglary.

Father of two girls aged five and two died after being fatally stabbed with a kitchen knife in the early hours of Wednesday 20th October 2004. 

Bouhaddaou is denying murder claiming that Robert Symons came at him with the knife and it was ‘bad luck’ that he was stabbed.

Bouhaddaou had been on crack since he was 18 and had served three prison sentences for burglary the last of which he had been released early from 5 weeks before the incident. He claimed in court to have stayed off drugs for a short time after his release but one week before the attack had started smoking crack again and needed to raise funds to support his £120 a day habit. He was filmed on CCTV walking up and down Airedale Avenue. His plan was to use a bamboo cane poked through letterboxes to hook keys and a bent car aerial to release the safety chain. He claims he was looking for high performance cars to steal.

Robert Symons heard a noise downstairs and went to investigate as his wife and two young children slept upstairs. Bouhaddaou claims that Robert Symons fell on a kitchen knife as they wrestled. He was killed by a six and a half inch stab wound which had pierced his ribs and lungs on its way to his heart. Bouhaddaou testified that he thought Robert Symons intended to kill him and that he was attempting to take the knife from him but was charged backwards. As he fell to the floor he said that the knife went in ‘like an accident’.

He denied the prosecution’s claims that he killed Robert Symons because he was afraid of returning to prison.

Earlier the court had heard his widow tell how she had found her husband bleeding to death in the hallway of their home after he had gone to investigate a noise he had heard downstairs. Linda Davies relived the entire episode explaining that she and her late husband had thought that the noise they heard was her sister who was staying with them at the time. 

The first point she realised something was wrong was when she heard her husband cry out her name causing her to rush from her bed. She told the Old Bailey, "At the top of the stairs you could see the door. I saw the door closing, someone was closing the door. I ran as fast as I could to make sure it was closed. On my way through I saw Robert lying on the floor. I did not realise how badly how hurt he was. I went straight to him. There was blood all over the place. He could not talk and I tried to find out what was the wound and tried to compress the wound."

American born Robert Symons worked as a teacher at Queens Park Community School in north-west London after reportedly abandoning a successful career as an IT consultant out of a desire to put something back into the community.

The trial continues.

March 11, 2006