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Woman is revealed as main suspect in murder case of British banker tied naked to a chair at South African apartment and tortured with boiling water

A banker from London has been found dead inside his South African suite
James Starkey was found with strangulation marks and burns to his body
A colleague asked hotel staff to force entry after he couldn't make contact
It's understood the woman has already been identified by police officers

By AISLINN LAING IN JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, FOR MAILONLINE and GARETH DAVIES IN LONDON FOR MAILONLINE and BELINDA GRANT GEARY FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
PUBLISHED: 04:44 EDT, 1 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:42 EDT, 1 November 2016

A woman has been revealed as the main suspect in the murder case of a British banker who was found tied naked to a chair having been tortured with boiling water.

The mutilated body of James Starkey, 36, was found by a colleague on October 8 after he became concerned with the banker's welfare and asked staff to force entry to his luxury apartment at the Raphael Penthouse Suites, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Paramedics described his injuries as 'brutal', and a woman entering the complex with the victim has been identified by police as the main suspect.

The mutilated body of James Starkey was found by a colleague on October 8 inside his luxury South African apartment +4

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The mutilated body of James Starkey was found by a colleague on October 8 inside his luxury South African apartment


Mr Starkey entered the hotel with a female guest the evening of October 7, the night before he was found dead.

Both he and the guest were seen by the complex's staff as they entered through the front entrance, where a biometric security system picks up guests' faces before they walk to the lifts.

The guest was not asked to sign the visitor book as she was accompanied by the tenant himself.

No one else is thought to have entered his room.

Mr Starkey is believed to have been found naked and tied to a chair and appeared to have had boiling water poured on him.

The source said there had been no similar incidents at the Raphael, but that a similar method had been used in robberies in South Africa to obtain details such as bank card PIN numbers.

'It's a method people use to try and get personal information from someone,' the source said.

Police have refused to divulge whether anything was stolen from Mr Starkey's room, but are rumoured to be studying his laptop.

They are also inspecting CCTV footage which shows Mr Starkey entering with his guest, and are thought to be confident that they know the suspect's identity but are keen to keep the case under wraps until an arrest is made.

'The police have an idea from the footage who they're looking for but they need to tread carefully and not scare the suspect away, people can go deeper underground if they think they are being looked for,' the source said.


Paramedics revealed his body had been mutilated, with burns and strangulation marks visible around his neck +4

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Paramedics revealed his body had been mutilated, with burns and strangulation marks visible around his neck

A colleague found the banker after becoming concerned with his welfare and asking staff to force entry to his room at the Raphael Penthouse Suites (pictured), in Johannesburg +4

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A colleague found the banker after becoming concerned with his welfare and asking staff to force entry to his room at the Raphael Penthouse Suites (pictured), in Johannesburg

The Raphael Penthouse Suites, where Mr Starkey was staying, are monitored by security guards 24 hours a day and guarantee 'tight, highly effective, and extremely efficient security controls'.

The complex's David Stroud, speaking on behalf of owners Legacy Hotels, told the Sydney Morning Herald there had been no breach of security and that their tenant had invited his guest to the private flat.

He added: 'We are not in the habit of presuming to tell occupants who they should or should not have visit them.'

South African Police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini had initially said investigators had not determined a list of suspects nor a motive for the killing and only revealed Australian-born Mr Starkey, was not sexually assaulted during the attack.

A paramedic told another financial services worker the body showed signs of brutal injuries, including burns and strangulation, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Mr Starkey (pictured), who was reportedly engaged to be wed, has worked for several financial consultancy firms including Goldman Sachs, Ernst and Young and JP Morgan

Mr Starkey, who graduated from Macquarie University and was reportedly engaged to be wed, has worked for several financial consultancy firms including Goldman Sachs, Ernst and Young and JP Morgan.

The dual Australian-British citizen travelled to South Africa for work with his current employer, banking management firm Catalyst, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

They have offered condolences to Mr Starkey's family, who will bury him at Macquarie Park cemetery, in Sydney's north, once his body is returned to Australia.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told the Sydney Morning Herald the slain banker's family were being supported by the British consular.

His devastated family released a statement yesterday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

It read: 'Words cannot describe how devastated we are.

'James lived life to the full and certainly had everything to live for, having recently become engaged and planning to return to settle in Australia in the near future.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3892804/British-banker-born-Australia-strangled-covered-burn-marks-tortured-death-luxury-Raphael-Penthouse-Suites-apartment-South-Africa.html







RComments 51

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The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Cranda, Reading, United Kingdom, 7 months ago
London is on the same road as Joburg, Ten years ago Joburg was fine, good and bad areas, just like London today.
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Reb76, Paris, France, 7 months ago
Why has it not been investigated?
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Bantulicious, Johannesburg, South Africa, 7 months ago
Stories of brutal killings happening in the UK are published a lot in the DM. It's not only South Africa that ahs a lot of crime.
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Bantulicious, Johannesburg, South Africa, 7 months ago
A lot of brutal killings happening in the UK are reported about a lot in the DM. It's not only South Africa that has crime.
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Joe90-CapeTown, Cape Town, 7 months ago
At least the UK isn't lawless and corrupt
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Blondie, Birmingham, United Kingdom, 7 months ago
So, so awful. Rest in peace x
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Zoe7, Scotland, United Kingdom, 7 months ago
What a waste of a young life. Condolences to his family. RIP, James. x
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junewatson, sandbach, 7 months ago
Dont go peeps. The police should have a suspect but wont
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Fiona910, JohannesBurg, South Africa, 7 months ago
Very surprised that there has been no mention of this in our local South African press, news sites, and TV news!?!
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Adam March, Brook Green, United Kingdom, 7 months ago
Why? All news is manipulated.
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outinthesticks, getting out of here, United Kingdom, 7 months ago
"tight, highly effective and extremely efficient security controls" big words but we don't even have any CCTV of the person entering the complex building, or walking to the lift, or getting in the lift, or leaving the building. Yes, I get that that they can't control who is invited in, but their description of 'extremely efficient security controls' is clearly very different to mine. What a horrible, tragic outcome. The guy was living the dream. RIP
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The Cynical One, Brighton, United Kingdom, 7 months ago
How do you know there is no CCTV footage?
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wiseaftertheevent, happyland, United Kingdom, 7 months ago
someone else staying at the Hotel? I hope the Police do a thorough job, for the sake of the family
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