What would Inspector Morse have made of it? Oxford’s dreaming spires are muttering to each other following the mystery death of one of the university town’s leading academic lights, astrophysicist Steven Rawlings.
Rawlings was developing the International Square Kilometre Array radio-telescope. Police say they have arrested Devinder Sivia, a mathematician and friend of 30 years, on suspicion of murder.
“I’m not 100 percent sure now, but the feedback I’m getting from one or two of the neighbours that actually saw it was that the victim was in the doorway, and then staggered back into the sitting room of the bungalow,” said one of Sivia’s neighbours.
Rawling’s colleagues say there is little in the makeup of the man to suggest a violent death or mystery of any kind.
“Steve was a central figure in our group. A warm personality, someone who had an inclusive style, very fair, somebody that people could turn to. He was a wonderfully warm person. He also
was a very social person, he loved to play football, he had a fantastic taste in music. He was somebody that everybody could draw on and draw from,” said the head of Astrophysics at Oxford University Roger Davies.
Rawlings was a frequent visitor to the home of his friend Sivia, who has been released on bail. There are unconfirmed reports there had been an argument before his sudden death, the cause of which an autopsy has yet to determine.