Detectives mystified by shooting of accountant: Trainee murdered while watching television had 'unblemished character'

THE MURDER of an accountant blasted to death with a shotgun when three masked men burst into his flat as he watched cricket on television was a mystery, detectives said last night.

Martin Jacks, 23, a trainee with Ernst and Young, bled to death in his ground-floor maisonette in Putney, south-west London, on Saturday afternoon from a large wound in his thigh inflicted by a 12-bore shotgun fired at close range.

Police said that Mr Jacks, a Rugby school scholarship pupil and Cambridge natural sciences graduate, was of unblemished character. There was no obvious motive for the murder.

Mr Jacks's background was being investigated last night but detectives said it was unlikely that he had been involved in anything dubious such as drugs dealing.

He had moved to London two years ago and was due to take his final accountancy examinations next month. He shared the flat with a friend from Cambridge, who was out at the time of the attack, and had a girlfriend.

The possibility that it was a burglary that went wrong was largely discounted. There was no evidence of property being stolen and Mr Jacks's wallet and credit cards were untouched. It is rare for burglars of such properties to be armed.

The three men, who were wearing balaclavas, arrived at about 4.30pm while Mr Jacks was watching the Test match on television and broke down the door to gain entry.

He was shot within seconds and died within three minutes, police said.

The men left the estate, of mixed private and municipal housing, in a dark-coloured car, described by eyewitnesses as 'sporty'. A spent shotgun cartridge was found in the kitchen and three live cartridges outside the maisonette.

Detective Superintendent Chris Burke, who is leading the investigation, said: 'The motive for this is a complete mystery.

'This murder took place during the middle of the afternoon, with people out sunbathing on the grass between the flats. Three masked men bursting into homes like that just doesn't happen that often around here.'

One possibility being examined was that Mr Jacks was the victim of a mistaken identity killing or, on the basis of where he was struck, an attempt to warn or intimidate someone. Detectives were checking on previous owners and occupants of the flat.

His father, Brian Jacks, 47, a project manager from Rugby, Warwickshire, told a press conference yesterday that he knew no reason why anyone would want to kill his son.

He said: 'We are a very close family. Martin was liked and respected by all his peers. We are very proud of both our sons. Our family is absolutely devastated.'

Martin's mother Pat, 47, and his brother Stuart, 20, were too upset to attend the press conference. Mr Jacks and Mr Burke appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Robin Alden, his housemaster at Rugby, described Mr Jacks as 'a most pleasant, rather self-effacing, young man'.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UI / UX Designer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...

Recruitment Genius: General Processor

£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - B2B

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Associate

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot