Saturday 1 October 2016

Antiques dealer found battered to death was involved in dispute over €890k home

Tom Morgan

Published 16/03/2016 | 07:57

Robyn Mercer, 50, a silverware expert, was found face down in a pool of blood on her front lawn
Robyn Mercer, 50, a silverware expert, was found face down in a pool of blood on her front lawn

Detectives are investigating the recent financial dealings of a suspect arrested over the murder of a Mayfair antiques dealer.

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Robyn Mercer, 50, a silverware expert, was found face down in a pool of blood on her front lawn with injuries were so severe that police thought she had been shot.

The victim was found by a neighbour on their way to work. It is believed her body may have lain outside the house in Surrey for much of the night.

Officers were called to her £700,000 (€890,000) semi-detached house in West Molesey, Surrey, at 8am on Monday.

Ms Mercer, whose father died last October, had joint-owned the home close to the Thames and Hampton Court Palace with partner Robert Webb, 52.

The couple are understood to have taken out a new mortgage on the property in 2012.

Detectives were last night continuing to question a 52-year-old man, understood to be known to Ms Mercer, on suspicion of murder.

She lived in the property with Mr Webb and her two teenage children, who are understood to be staying with relatives.

One friend revealed she was recently seen with an injured wrist but had been in good spirits in the days before she was killed.

Ms Mercer's niece, Claudia Spickernell, speaking from South Africa, told the Evening Standard: "We have just heard the news. We are all a bit in the dark. Everyone is still just trying to get a grip of everything."

Ms Mercer worked at one of London's most prestigious independent antique dealers — J H Bourdon-Smith in Masons Yard, St James's. She was a respected expert in antique silver who had contributed to studies of 16th century silver spoons.

Art specialist Paul Crane, 40, from the neighbouring Brian Haughton Gallery, had known Ms Mercer for more than 20 years. He said: "She was full of the most golden energy. She was so polite it was unbelievable. She was just full of kindness."

A colleague at her company said: "We are in shock at the moment. It's a tragedy and we are just trying to come to terms with it."

Ms Mercer, a keen rower, was a member of Walton Rowing club. A spokeswoman for the club said: "She was an absolutely lovely woman. She would go the extra mile for anyone. She would help behind the bar and anyone around the club. I spoke to her only on Saturday and she seemed fine."

Telegraph.co.uk

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