Man Charged in Murder of Gay London Socialite
A 36-year-old British man has been charged with murdering an American socialite who was the first in London to enter into a civil union with his partner.
British national newspaper the Independent has reported that David Jeffs was arrested on Monday for murdering Robert Charles Troyan, 63, found dead in his central London apartment on March 8.
According to authorities, Troyan was attacked at some point before 4 p.m. that day. Another British newspaper, The Guardian, added that Troyan, an American socialite, was found lying in a pool of blood. In the post mortem, detectives discovered that he had apparently died from head injuries.
Troyan’s partner Anthony Feldman, a well-known architect, died of pancreatic cancer in 2005. The men, together since 1983, were the first couple in London to enter into a civil partnership in London, just a year before Feldman died.
Troyan’s friend Sean McGuigan told British tabloid the Evening Standard that he believes the socialite was "too trusting."
"A lot of people around him were after his money. He had some incredibly expensive antiques in his flat including a vase worth £100,000," McGuigan said. "He was incredibly trusting, too trusting. He would lavish gifts on people and was quite carefree with his money."
U.K. tabloid The Daily Mail quoted the victim’s mother, Marie Troyan, 83, calling her son was "one in a million." She said there had been a "terrible change in circumstances" after Feldman died.
Troyan was born in Italy to a wealthy family but lived in the U.S. for most of his youth. He went to college to study art in Boston and then moved to London. One of Troyan’s neighbors told the Evening Standard that he came from a wealthy background in America and that he had been "devastated" by his partner’s death.
"It was Anthony that really kept everything running smoothly in both their lives," the neighbor said. "After Anthony died, there was quite a lot of coming and going of various characters, and it caused some problems. Nothing would surprise me. In the end Robert moved to Mount Street. I went past there on Friday, and I actually thought - ’I hope it’s not him.’"
One of Jeffs’ neighbors told The Independent that he was "absolutely shocked" at the murder charge. Jeffs, 36, has been working at a wealth management firm. Nothing has been released about Jeffs’ relationship with Troyan or how the two may have met.