Burglar kills man on Airedale Avenue

Robert Symons stabbed to death in his own home

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Picture from Press AssociationPolice are investigating the murder of a 45 year old teacher in at a residential address at 38 Airedale Avenue, Chiswick.

At around 4.30am on Wednesday morning Robert Symons (pictured right) confronted an intruder, believed to have been a burglar, when he went downstairs from his bedroom to investigate a noise. A brief struggle ensued and Mr. Symons was stabbed.

The victim's wife heard the disturbance and went down to find her husband critically injured. The post mortem result showed Mr Symons' death was the result of haemorrhaging caused by a single stab wound to the heart.

A suspect, described as a white man, in a light coloured short sleeved shirt, was seen leaving the premises. He may have had an accomplice.

American born Mr. Symons was taken to a West London hospital suffering stab wounds, where he later died. He leaves a wife and two daughters aged 2 and 5. Mr. 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.

Mr. Symons had previously tackled a burglar successfully in his home when he lived in the Notting Hill area before moving to Chiswick.

Investigating officer, Det. Chief Superintendent Andy Murphy, of the Specialist Crime Directorate, said: "There is a possibility that the suspect/suspects were seen by someone in the vicinity of Airedale Avenue. It is also possible that the the person/people we are looking for had attempted to break into other houses previously. We urge anyone with information that could help us to contact police."

Police are now saying that they have found 'material' which they believe to include the murder weapon. They have also recovered four credit cards in the name of 'Douglas Smith' which were found in a drain near the incident. The description of the suspect is believed to come from a local CCTV camera although at this stage the police are not revealing which one.

Hounslow Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Jeff Harris offered his condolences to the family of the victim whilst saying, "This is a horrific crime against an innocent member of the community in his own home and I am sure the entire community will share my abhorrence of such an incident."

He pointed out that crimes of this particular nature are extremely rare and said that burglary offences, particularly domestic burglary have been substantially reduced.

He said, "During the last year we have substantially increased the number of patrolling officers in Chiswick and much work is taking place at a local level to reduce crime in our community, with initiatives in place to combat burglary, robbery and motor vehicle crime together with use of the Ringmaster system and Neighbourhood Watch."

Anyone with information should call the Incident Room on 020 8358 0100 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

If you are concerned about being burgled, Crime Prevention Officers from Chiswick station will call at your home to give you advice about security. Call 020 8247 6423.

October 26, 2004