A Croydon inquest was told that an 11-year-old boy walked into a local shop and bought a plastic clothes line for himself and “a friend.” When the shopkeeper looked towards the shop door she saw a “down-and-out” type she had never seen before.

The boy, Miles Vallint, an Anglo-Indian, was later found strangled with “a type of rope” on Friday, August 28th, 1959, having disappeared after leaving his South Norwood, south-east London, home the previous day.

Police believed he was lured into a car after leaving a bicycle shop. They were convinced that the motive was sexual, although there was no direct evidence to support that theory. His body was found on the site of a demolished vicarage in Tavistock Road, Croydon, by a man described as a “down-and-out.” No link was established between the finder of Miles’s body and the man seen in the shop doorway.