Silver Bullets murder on Billionaire’s Row remains one of Britain’s most notorious unsolved crimes

On New Year’s Day in 1985, fashion mogul Aristos Constantinou was shot dead with silver-coloured bullets by masked men in the chapel at his palatial home on the London street that has been dubbed ‘Billionaires’ Row’. 

His wife, Elena, survived the attack. Seven months after her husband’s murder, she married American lifeguard Tim Nugent. She then remarried again and was most recently reported as living in Cyprus. 

In 2017, the Metropolitan Police reopened the case, and, in January last year, Constantinou’s brother Achilleas said he had been told by officers that the Crown Prosecution Service were set to decide whether to prosecute an identified suspect.

Now, the Crown Prosecution Service have told MailOnline that a decision not to prosecute the suspect was made in April this year. However, a Met spokesman said they remain ‘committed’ to solving the murder. 

Constantinous’ seven-bedroom home, in Bishops Avenue, near Hampstead Heath in North London, went on the market shortly after his death, and was most recently sold in 2015.    

The 66-house Bishop’s Avenue has long been known as ‘Billionaires’ Row’ because it has been home to some of the world’s most wealthy people.

But images in 2019 showed how it had fallen into disrepair, with many of the properties uninhabited or totally abandoned.

The seven-bedroom home, in luxurious The Bishops Avenue, near Hampstead Heath in North London, was the scene of the killing of Aristos Constantinou (pictured above with his wife Elena), the founder of the Ariella clothing labe

The seven-bedroom home, in luxurious The Bishops Avenue, near Hampstead Heath in North London, was the scene of the killing of Aristos Constantinou (pictured above with his wife Elena), the founder of the Ariella clothing labe

An image of the front of the property taken shortly after Constantinou's death

An image of the front of the property taken shortly after Constantinou's death

On New Year’s Day in 1985, fashion mogul Aristos Constantinou was shot dead with silver-coloured bullets by masked men in the chapel at his palatial home on the London street that has been dubbed ‘Billionaires’ Row’ – Bishops Avenue in North London. His wife, Elena (left), survived the attack

Constantinou, the son of a master tailor, graduated from the London College of Fashion in 1965 worked for Mattli the Couturier in Mayfair before starting his own business.

His brother joined him after graduating from university and the pair formed the company Ariella.

At the time of his murder, the company had 11 stores and more than 300 wholesale accounts across the world. 

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said: The Metropolitan Police Service remains committed to solving the murder of Aristos Constantinou who was brutally murdered in East Finchley on New Year’s Day in 1985. 

‘As with any undetected murder, we will act on any new information we are given and carry out regular reviews of the case. A review of this case is currently ongoing.

The Daily Mail's report of the murder

The Daily Mail's report of the murder

The Daily Mail’s report of the murder

‘We advise that anyone with information that could assist this investigation is asked to contact police on 0207 230 4294 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. ‘

A CPS spokesman added that the decision made in April not to prosecute a suspect is currently under review following a request under the Victim’s Right to Review scheme.  

In the aftermath of the murder, The Daily Mail reported how Constantinou was shot dead by raiders who were apparently trying to force him to hand over valuables worth around £1.5million (£4.7million in today’s prices). 

The murderers got into the property even though Constantinou had installed an elaborate security system. 

After her husband was shot, Mrs Constantinou was reported to have run ‘screaming’ from the house before flagging down a passing motorist. 

Police believed at the time that Constantinou may have been killed after he tried to fight the intruders, because he had injuries to his right hand when his body was found. 

The Hampstead home, which has gardens of just over half an acre in size, was last sold in 2015 for £9million, according to the Evening Standard. 

Speaking in 2019, Constantinou’s brother, who founded Ariella with him, said: ‘After 35 years of no closure, our family is eagerly awaiting this long overdue step towards finally achieving closure and justice.’

Mr Constantinou said that he had been told repeatedly by police that the evidence ‘only pointed to one suspect’, but the CPS had always wanted additional inquiries carried out.

He said that this was ‘disappointing’ when he had been told by officers there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ for a prosecution.

Constantinous' seven-bedroom home, in Bishops Avenue, near Hampstead Heath in North London, went on the market shortly after his death, and was most recently sold in 2015. It is pictured above in 2007

Constantinous' seven-bedroom home, in Bishops Avenue, near Hampstead Heath in North London, went on the market shortly after his death, and was most recently sold in 2015. It is pictured above in 2007

Constantinous’ seven-bedroom home, in Bishops Avenue, near Hampstead Heath in North London, went on the market shortly after his death, and was most recently sold in 2015. It is pictured above in 2007

After her husband was shot, Mrs Constantinou was reported to have run 'screaming' from the house before flagging down a passing motorist

After her husband was shot, Mrs Constantinou was reported to have run 'screaming' from the house before flagging down a passing motorist

After her husband was shot, Mrs Constantinou was reported to have run ‘screaming’ from the house before flagging down a passing motorist

After her husband was shot, Mrs Constantinou (pictured above with her husband) was reported to have run 'screaming' from the house before flagging down a passing motorist

After her husband was shot, Mrs Constantinou (pictured above with her husband) was reported to have run 'screaming' from the house before flagging down a passing motorist

Mrs Constantinou at her husband's funeral

Mrs Constantinou at her husband's funeral

After her husband was shot, Mrs Constantinou (pictured left with her husband and right at his funeral) was reported to have run ‘screaming’ from the house before flagging down a passing motorist. Police believed at the time that Constantinou may have been killed after he tried to fight the intruders, because he had injuries to his right hand when his body was found

On the day of the tycoon's funeral, his coffin was carried in a horse-drawn hearse. The murderers got into his property even though Constantinou had installed an elaborate security system

On the day of the tycoon's funeral, his coffin was carried in a horse-drawn hearse. The murderers got into his property even though Constantinou had installed an elaborate security system

On the day of the tycoon’s funeral, his coffin was carried in a horse-drawn hearse. The murderers got into his property even though Constantinou had installed an elaborate security system

He added: ‘I have been very disappointed by the CPS’ previous decisions not to prosecute.

‘We have been told by the police repeatedly since 1986 that the evidence only pointed to one suspect, but the CPS always wanted additional enquiries to be carried out.

‘In 1997 the head of the second police investigation told us the evidence against this suspect was now overwhelming, but the CPS inexplicably refused to order the police request for an arrest and prosecution.

‘The current and third police investigating team has worked tirelessly and uncovered new evidence supporting and strengthening the conclusions of the second police report of 1997 and is seeking the decision of the CPS to proceed with ordering this arrest.’

Past homeowners on The Bishop’s Avenue have included the Sultan of Brunei, Saudi royals, Heather Mills and Sir Billy Butlin – the founder of the holiday camps.

Billionaire Richard Desmond, the former owner of the Daily Express newspaper, also owned a mansion in the street.

A row of 10 homes, worth £73million, has stood empty since they were reportedly bought by the Saudi royal family.

An investigation by the Guardian in 2014 found that the row of mansions is collectively worth roughly £350million. It will now be worth significantly more.  

The 66-house Bishop's Avenue has long been known as 'Billionaires' Row' because it has been home to some of the world's most wealthy people. But images in 2019 showed how it had fallen into disrepair, with many of the properties uninhabited or totally abandoned

The 66-house Bishop's Avenue has long been known as 'Billionaires' Row' because it has been home to some of the world's most wealthy people. But images in 2019 showed how it had fallen into disrepair, with many of the properties uninhabited or totally abandoned

The 66-house Bishop’s Avenue has long been known as ‘Billionaires’ Row’ because it has been home to some of the world’s most wealthy people. But images in 2019 showed how it had fallen into disrepair, with many of the properties uninhabited or totally abandoned 

Another abandoned property in the street is seen in 2019 looking very run down, despite it's enormous price tag

Another abandoned property in the street is seen in 2019 looking very run down, despite it's enormous price tag

Another abandoned property in the street is seen in 2019 looking very run down, despite it’s enormous price tag 

Bishop's Avenue in north London, also known as Billionaires' Row, is a 66-house street which has been home to some of the world's most wealthy people. Pictured is Redcroft mansion, which has been boarded up and left to rot

Bishop's Avenue in north London, also known as Billionaires' Row, is a 66-house street which has been home to some of the world's most wealthy people. Pictured is Redcroft mansion, which has been boarded up and left to rot

Bishop’s Avenue in north London, also known as Billionaires’ Row, is a 66-house street which has been home to some of the world’s most wealthy people. Pictured is Redcroft mansion, which has been boarded up and left to rot 

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