Man murdered at south London flat was a registered sex offender

Jamie Grierson
Noel Brown and Marie Brown, who were found dead at a property in Deptford. Photograph: PA

A man who was murdered at his flat in south-east London before his daughter was also killed was a registered sex offender, police have said.

The bodies of Noel Brown, 69, and Marie Brown, 41, were found at Noel Brown’s flat in Deptford in the early hours of Monday 4 December.

Police were contacted by a relative at 12.30pm after Marie failed to return home after checking on the welfare of her father. At 2.45am, officers attended and discovered the bodies. Detectives are searching for two men seen visiting the flat in the days before the deaths.

Following an earlier appeal, Scotland Yard confirmed Brown Sr had a criminal record. “Noel Brown was a registered sex offender and was convicted of sex offences in 1999, and detectives retain an open mind in regards to motive,” a Metropolitan police spokesman said.

A postmortem confirmed that both father and daughter were strangled. Some reports have said Noel’s body was dismembered.

Det Supt Paul Monk, who is overseeing the investigation, said Noel was last seen alive by a neighbour at about 8pm on 30 November. Marie, having grown anxious about her father’s wellbeing, went to visit him at about midday on 2 December. That was the last sighting of Marie alive.

“At this early stage we are keeping an open mind regarding the motive. However, it was clear to the responding officers that there were no signs of forced entry to the property,” Monk said. “One of our key lines of inquiry is to establish if the suspects or suspects were known to Noel and if Marie disturbed them.”

Monk said Brown was well known and liked locally. “We know that Noel used to go to his local betting shop, Paddy Power in Deptford high street, and had in fact been there during the day he was last seen alive, on 30 November.

“There has been speculation that his murder was as a result of a large gambling win. However, at this time there is no evidence to suggest this was the case.”