Search for the Killer of Angus James Wilson
The family of Angus Wilson, founding co-editor of Scallywag in 1992, is anxious to trace the man who killed him, Simon Stander, who is presently working for a University in Northern Cyprus.
The circumstances of his death aged only 31 are fully covered in earlier editions of Scallywag Magazine, on the web at URL: http://www.scallywag.org/.
Angus, Stander, and two girls, Alison Thompson and Shona Andrews – all employed on Angus’s new magazine Spiked – had gone to Northern Cyprus for an assignation with Asil Nadir. Only Stander, Nadir and Nadir’s henchman Peter Diamond know what actually happened at the meeting. It is known that Nadir wanted to recruit anyone who he thought might help him get back to England without facing prosecution. Part of the reasons for the visit was therefore to tell his side of the story of the Polly Peck heist.
I was with Angus on the Friday before the visit in a pub in Primrose Hill, north London, when all four were in holiday mood. He told me that he had been supplied with compromising pictures of the then Minister of Defence, Michael Portillo, who lost his seat by a narrow margin in the last general election. He had the prints but wanted to raise money for the negatives and he was going to get Nadir involved. Peter Diamond had intimated that Nadir would indeed be very interested in seeing the pictures, and perhaps using them to put pressure on the British Government.
The next morning all four embarked on the fateful journey. On the following Thursday, 6th September, Angus called my Mother, Valerie Wilson, to tell her the meeting with Diamond and Nadir had gone “brilliantly” and that he was in possession of a “substantial” cheque believed to be tens of thousands of pounds.
On Friday, the next day, there was a further meeting with Diamond to finalise details and the four then went to eat at a local restaurant and then a casino where they had some wine and brandies. Until then Stander had been behaving rationally but at the casino he went off and gambled on his own while the three others played roulette. At about 2am on the Saturday morning the four decided to get back to their rented villa. Stander had for some time had a shine on Shona Andrews which had remained unrequited. He demanded that Shona sat in the front seat with him, which she refused to do. Instead, to try and quieten things down Angus took the front seat. Stander drove off at breakneck speed in a screaming temper. According to the girls’ evidence at the subsequent coroner’s hearing, he was completely demented, swearing foully at everyone, and threaten to kill everyone including himself. He swerved the wheel from side to side causing the car, at huge speed, to career across the road and eventually it hit a curb and turned over several times.
Stander sustained superficial injuries. The two girls were severely traumatised, but basically unhurt as people in the village pulled them from the wreck and called an ambulance. Angus had sustained massive head injuries, which later that day resulted in his death.
Stander was retained in hospital while the two girls were released and got back, heavily shocked, to the villa where they called Diamond who quickly came up to the house. He told them he would “fix” everything and that they should leave the country immediately. In effect, this removed the only two witnesses who could attest at any court proceedings as to just what happened. He rushed them by cab to the airport and put them on the next flight out. He took all Angus’s possessions into his own custody, presumably with the cheque and with the photographs. The car was quickly “disappeared” presumably to a breaker’s yard.
Valerie Wilson was contacted by the Foreign Office and told to deposit four thousand pounds with them to get Angus’s body back for a funeral. Diamond made one call to Mrs Wilson, my mother, to assure her that he would “look after everything”. Stander made one call to my mother after his release from hospital to say he did not know what had happened. The girls arrived in London in a very traumatised state. None of Angus’s possessions have been returned to the UK. Stander simply disappeared. He never once contacted any member of the family to show even the slightest resemblance of contrition. Diamond remained unapproachable. No one could get through his secretary in the private hotel suite owned by Nadir. He has made no contact since.
On 22 July 1997 there was a coroner’s court convened in St. Pancras, London. The coroner, Stephen Chan, heard all the available evidence including sworn testimony from Shona Andrews and a sworn deposition from Allison Thompson who had returned to New Zealand on the death of her mother.
A short statement from Stander was read out to the court. He had given a post office number but no other details. Chan said the statement was “worse than useless” and that his court had been dreadfully frustrated by a complete lack of co-operation from any official in northern Cyprus. On the evidence he did have he ruled that had the accident have happened in the UK, Stander would be facing charges of death by dangerous driving. Because of the lack of proper detail he said he could not rule out the “probability of unlawful killing.” He ruled that Angus had died exclusively from the head injuries and had otherwise been exceptionally fit. He gave an “open verdict” meaning the case can be opened at any time in the future.
It is my intention to persuade Simon Stander to come back to London to face the coroner’s court. But first of all we must find him and I am appealing on behalf of my family for any academic in northern Cyprus to help us do so and to make the academic community in Cyprus aware of these circumstances.
Stander had previously been a lecturer in economics at the London School of Economics and he had also lectured previously in northern Cyprus. On the fateful trip he had pointed out the university where he had worked but at the time the girls did not take much notice. They believed it was an American university. All we know from Stander’s own family, who have closed ranks to protect him, is that he is working as a lecturer and is presumably enjoying the patronage of Asil Nadir.
Is Asil Nadir worried about what Stander might say to a British court about that fateful last meeting? Where are the photographs? Where’s the cheque? What actually caused the brainstorm that killed Angus Wilson? Is Stander ever capable of at least saying sorry to Angus’s family? He owes it to Angus who employed him even though he was virtually unemployable, to clear these matters up once and for all.
All we have is a PO box number but if we locate him there are several options should he refuse to return to face the coroner, including a private prosecution in northern Cyprus. I am reserving all options until there is some form of proper retribution.
I would be grateful to anyone on the Internet, in or out of northern Cyprus, who can help my family and I on this matter.
Simon Regan <s…@fidalgo.net> 48 Stanhope Street London NW1 3EX United Kingdom
— Simon Regan – mailto:s…@fidalgo.net Scallywag http://www.scallywag.org/ 48 Stanhope Street, London, NW1 3EX