Keats was ‘killed for cash’

8:02am Thursday 20th November 2003

A millionaire was stabbed to death in his luxury home by a con man who specialised in stealing from the wealthy, a court heard this week.

Bachelor Daniel Keats, 49, got to know Tyrone Thomas, 31, while he was attempting to sell his £2million home in Turner Drive, Hampstead Garden Suburb, the Old Bailey heard.

The court heard that the two men went shopping together at Sainsbury's in Finchley Road on the afternoon of October 19 last year, before Thomas stabbed Mr Keats to death in the kitchen that evening as he prepared a meal.

Mr Keats' body was then covered by a white sheet as Thomas stole jewellery and searched for the dead man's PIN numbers with his friend, a prostitute named Angela Wild, the jury heard.

Miss Wild, who claims she was high on ecstasy when Mr Thomas called her to come to the address to help him, said she wasn't sure whether Mr Keats' corpse was that of 'a man, woman or dog'.

"I don't know what happened. I wasn't there when it happened — just that there was an argument," she told the court.

Three days later Mr Keats' body was found by his elderly parents — millionaire property developer Victor Keats and his wife Marion.

The day after he died, Mr Keats' Rover was seen parked at an awkward angle in Sussex Way, Holloway. "It was parked so badly that it looked to the people that saw it either that it had been left in a hurry or it was parked by someone not used to driving that vehicle," Wendy Joseph, QC, prosecuting, told the Old Bailey.

"By that time Mr Keats was dead. In that vehicle ultimately was to be found a bent knife, which was heavily bloodstained with Daniel Keats' blood."

Miss Joseph told the jury that Thomas had a history of befriending people before demanding money and stealing from them.

She also said that it was unknown how Mr Keats and Mr Thomas got to know each other.

"How they ever came across each other we do not know,” she told the court.

“Only two people know that: one, Mr Keats, is dead; the other Mr Thomas, has never told the police how that came about.

A month before Keats' death, Thomas allegedly told a friend that he 'had a job worth £2m' in a Jewish area of London because the ‘Jews have money'.

Tyrone Thomas, of Oswald Street, Clapton, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Daniel Keats. The trial continues.

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