Palatial mansion at centre of unsolved Silver Bullets murder for sale

Palatial mansion at centre of unsolved Silver Bullets murder is for sale: Luxurious Bishops Avenue home where fashion tycoon Aristos Constantinou was shot dead by burglars in 1985 hits market for £12.5m

  • The seven-bedroom home, is in luxurious The Bishops Avenue, near Hampstead Heath in North London
  • Was scene of the killing of Aristos Constantinou, the founder of Ariella clothing label, on New Year’s Day, 1985 
  • Constantinou was shot dead in his property’s chapel by men who fired silver-coloured bullets 

A mansion where a millionaire fashion tycoon was murdered in what remains one of London’s most high-profile unsolved crimes has been put up for sale for £12million.

The seven-bedroom home, in luxurious The Bishops Avenue, near Hampstead Heath in North London, was the scene of the killing of Aristos Constantinou, the founder of the Ariella clothing label.

On New Year’s Day in 1985, he was shot dead with silver-coloured bullets by masked men in the property’s chapel and, more than 35 years on, the killer has still not been identified. 

The chapel was removed when the home was sold by the Constantinou family in 2015. 

Constantinou’s wife, Elena, was present on the night of the murder. In 1997, police sought charges against her but she has always strongly denied having any involvement in her husband’s death.

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.

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.

A mansion where a millionaire fashion tycoon was murdered in what remains one of London’s most high-profile unsolved crimes has been put up for sale for £12million


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 left with his wife Elena), the founder of the Ariella clothing label. Right: An image of the front of the property taken shortly after Constantinou’s death

The property once owned by Constantinou sits behind electric gates. Inside, there is a grand entrance hall with marble floors, lavish décor and an enormous, glittering chandelier.

There is also an indoor swimming pool in a separate annexe which also boasts a sauna and spa.

Estate agents Knight Frank say the home, much like neighbouring properties in the street, is in need of ‘comprehensive renovation’.

However, the sale comes with planning permission for the property to be demolished.

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.

The property once owned by Constantinou sits behind electric gates. Inside, there is a grand entrance hall with marble floors, lavish décor and an enormous, glittering chandelier

The property also boasts this lavish dining room, which is perfect for owners who want to host large dinner parties or big family gatherings 

The lavish bathroom boasts fittings including an enormous bath and also has detailed landscape illustrations on the walls

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 told the Evening Standard: ‘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

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.

Trevor Abrahmsohn, the managing director of luxury estate agent Glentree, told the newspaper that he sold the home on behalf of the Constantinou family to an Indian businessman.   

He claimed that the home still had the chapel in which Constantinou died, along with bullet holes which were still visible.   

‘I think that most people would want to knock the house down and start again because it is a little bit higgledy piggledy and it is all very dated,’ he said. ‘It will not be everyone’s cup of tea.’ 

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.

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 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

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.’

The Hampstead home was last sold in 2015 for £9million. Above: Another image shows the marble floors and ornate furnishings

Estate agents Knight Frank say the home, much like neighbouring properties in the street, is in need of ‘comprehensive renovation’. Above: One of the bedrooms

The sale comes with planning permission for the property to be demolished, meaning that a new owner can construct their own mansion

The home has gardens of just over half an acre in size. Above: The property is seen from afar, as a delipidated fixture is seen in the grounds

Any new owner will need to spend a lot of money on the property to make it as desirable as it once was. Above: Parts of the property and grounds

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.  

Source: Read Full Article