Millionaire 'beaten to death by ID thief who raided bank accounts'
A reclusive millionaire was battered to death in his Hampstead home by a conman who raided his bank accounts, the Old Bailey has heard.
Allan Chappelow, 86, was a world expert on playwright George Bernard Shaw but had become "rather eccentric" in his old age, the jury was told.
His body lay undiscovered for three weeks beneath a pile of papers in his £2.5 million Georgian home in Downshire Hill. Meanwhile, Chinese-born Wang Yam had stolen his post and impersonated him to ransack his bank account, the court heard. When Mr Chappelow's body was found Yam fled the country on a Eurostar.
Yam, 46, of West Hampstead, has denied murder, burglary, theft, handling stolen goods and obtaining a money transfer by deception in May and June 2006.
Before the case was opened Mr Justice Ouseley told the jury the press and public would be excluded from part of the trial which would be heard in camera. "It is a very unusual thing to happen in the course of a criminal trial," he said. "Don't speculate about what that evidence may be, you'll hear about it soon enough, probably on Monday."
Mark Ellison, prosecuting, said Mr Chappelow had been a highly successful author in the Eighties with his two biographies of Shaw.