CPS to decide whether to prosecute suspect in designer’s murder, brother says

The brother of a millionaire fashion designer, who was murdered in his mansion on New Year’s Day 35 years ago, is hoping a decision on whether to prosecute the suspect will be made by the end of February.

Aristos Constantinou was shot dead with silver-coloured bullets at his home in The Bishops Avenue, in north London, on January 1 1985.

The killer of the 40-year-old head of his family’s clothing empire, who lived in so-called “Billionaires’ Row” near Hampstead Heath, has never been identified.

Aristos Constantinou murder
Aristos Constantinou murder

But Mr Constantinou’s younger brother Achilleas said that he had been told by police that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) will decide whether to prosecute an identified suspect by the end of February.

He told the PA news agency that police were seeking the decision of the CPS to proceed with ordering an arrest.

Speaking on the eve of the 35th anniversary of his brother’s death, the 71-year-old added: “After 35 years of no closure, our family is eagerly awaiting this long overdue step towards finally achieving closure and justice.”

In 1997, police sought charges against Aristos Constantinou’s wife Elena, but the CPS decided there was not enough evidence, the Sunday Times reported.

She has consistently denied any involvement in the murder.

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.

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.”

Aristos 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.