Man charged with double murder nearly 30 years after deaths

A man has been charged with the murder of two pensioners who died during an apparent botched burglary at their home nearly 30 years ago, thanks to a cold case review.

The Metropolitan Police were able to charge Danville Neil on Tuesday after re-submitting existing evidence of the double murder case.

Ann Castle, 74, and her brother William Bryan, 71, died during an alleged break-in at their flat in Bethnal Green, east London, in 1993.

A post-mortem showed that war veteran Mr Bryan died from suffocation and ischaemic heart disease, and his sister died from the same heart condition.

Police said that at the time of discovery the siblings’ bodies were found sitting side-by-side in chairs.

Both were found by a neighbour who became suspicious when they did not answer their door and the lights were left on.

Scotland Yard put out appeals for information at the time, but no one was charged until some 28 years later.

Danville Neil was arrested last October after existing evidence was submitted for re-examination, the Metropolitan Police said.

The 63-year-old from Lewisham, south east London, was charged on Tuesday with the double murder of Mr Bryan and Mrs Castle as well as one count of burglary.

At Bromley Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, Neil appeared before magistrates and was remanded in custody.

His next court appearance will be at the Old Bailey on Friday.

The Met Police said their investigation into the deaths is still continuing.

A spokesman for the force said: "A man has been charged with the murder of a man and a woman in 1993.

"Danville Neil appeared in custody at Bromley Magistrates’ Court today having been charged with the murders of Ann Castle and her brother William Bryan who died at an address in Clare Street in August 1993.

"Neil was also charged with burglary. He is next due to appear at the Central Criminal Court on Friday.

"Neil was charged on Tuesday. He was arrested in October 2020 after existing evidence was re-submitted for further examination.

"A post-mortem examination held at Poplar Mortuary in 1993 gave Mrs Castle’s cause of death as ischaemic heart disease. Mr Bryan died from asphyxia and ischaemic heart disease."

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