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Saturday, 13 August 2016
Updated: Monday, 15 August 12:00 hours

Britwell man dead after Burnham pub incident

Police launch murder investigation

Report and photographs: Paul Janik




Just before midnight, on Friday 12 August 2016, Britwell father of 6, Dean Haverley, became unconscious after being struck on his head. He was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to save him. Police have closed the pub and are treating it as a murder scene.

The George

Located at 20 Burnham High Street, on the left (east) side directly opposite Burnham's fire station, the historic former coaching inn was Mr Haverley's 'local'.

The pub's web site says the London to Bath road (now the A4, locally called the Bath Road) once curved around Burnham Park. This enabled The George, dating back to 1762, to became an established coach stop and resting place.

The Incident

Thames Valley Police say they were alerted at 00:01 hours this morning about an assault inside the pub.

The victim was 48 years old Mr Haverley. The ambulance crew stabilised Mr Haverley's condition and then rushed him to Wexham Park's Accident & Emergency department. However Mr Haverley died at the hospital. The clinical cause of his death has yet to be officially determined.

Acquaintances say Mr Haverley was punched in his head.

Mr Haverley leaves a wife and 6 children; two over 18, two aged 10, a 7 years-old and a 5 years-old. Mr Haverley was also father to his two step-children.

The family have asked the national media to leave them alone so they can mourn in peace.

Britwell residents were shocked and sadden by the tragic news.

Flowers laying in the bright summer sunlight Mr Haverley will never experience again.

Police close pub

The police has closed the pub for an indefinite period of time saying they wish to preserve the interior as a crime scene in their potential murder investigation.

This afternoon blue and white police tape blocked the front door. The car park gates were closed and locked. Two WPCs stood guard outside. The rear car park has some cars but it is unknown whether those vehicles belong to customers or pub personnel.

The pub's telephone is being answered by a recording asking callers to leave a message.

The pub looks deserted.


Blinds covering the windows.

The deserted car park and pub garden.

No one has been arrested.

One too many ?

If any pub, and we do not specifically mean The George, serves intoxicated customers with more intoxicating liquor (alcoholic drinks) that pub could lose their local authority's licence to sell alcoholic drinks to customers.

It is unknown whether licensing compliance will be part of the police's enquiries into the fatal incident. Also unknown is whether the pub had CCTV and if it recorded the tragic event.

Whatever the police investigation reveals, life is now going to be a burden for Mr Haverley's family.

If someone is charged and convicted, then their family will suffer too.

Violence is senseless and destructive. If fuelled by drink, then caution and common sense are too quickly forgotten.

14 August : Man Arrested

On Saturday evening, less than 24 hours after the incident in the pub's bar, Thames Valley Police arrested a 61 years-old man from Burnham on suspicion of the murder of Dean Haverley. The unnamed man currently remains in police custody.

Today, Sunday 14 August, a pathologist will perform a post-mortem examination of Mr Haverley's body to determine the clinical cause of his premature death.

Police are appealing for the public's help. If anyone has any information they should ring 101 (or 01865-841 148) quoting URN 1 of 13 August 2016.

15 August : Man bailed

The 61 years-old Burnham man, arrested on Saturday evening, has been released from police custody. The man is currently on police bail until 2 September whilst police enquiries into the death of Dean Haverley continue.

Yesterday's, Sunday 14 August, post-mortem examination of Mr Haverley's body at Wexham Park hospital failed to identify a specific cause for his death. The inconclusive result necessitates additional clinical testing by different specialists.