Oxford professor found dead at the home of 'best friend' and lecturer
An Oxford don who played a leading role in the creation of the world's largest radio telescope has been found dead in what police are treating as murder.
Professor Steven Rawlings, 50, was found in a colleague's bungalow in the village of Southmoor, Oxfordshire, on Wednesday night, after police were called to reports that a man was injured.
A member of the public, paramedics and police attempted to resuscitate him, but he was too badly hurt. He had been at the home of Dr Devinder Sivia, a mathematician with whom he had collaborated professionally and had known for 15 years. According to one report they were "the best of friends".
The cause of death remained a mystery last night after a post-mortem proved inconclusive, but it is thought Professor Rawlings had been battered and may have suffered a heart attack.
A 49-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Staff and students at the University of Oxford, where the victim was a professor of astrophysics, were said to be stunned at his death. Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hamilton, said: "The entire university community has been profoundly saddened and shocked by the tragic and untimely death of Professor Steve Rawlings. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."
Former BBC Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer, master at St Peter's College, said Professor Rawlings was a "much liked and admired tutor" who "will be greatly missed".
On his Facebook page, Professor Rawlings listed Inspector Morse, the detective series set in Oxford and starring John Thaw, as being among his favourite television programmes.
Professor Rawlings, who leaves a wife, Linda, had been a fellow at St Peter's College since 1994.
He was deeply involved with the Square Kilometre Array, a project costing more than £1bn to set up the world's biggest radio telescope. It will be spread over a vast area, most likely in Australia or South Africa.
Israel-Gaza crisis: YouTube footage shows scale of destruction after 50 days of shelling
Keira Knightley topless: Conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
Ebola virus: It's ripped through towns – now the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus is heading for Africa's teeming cities
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- 1 Unseen Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chapter deemed 'too subversive' released
- 3 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- < Previous
- Next >