johnluper

John Luper (Source: West Yorkshire Police)

Police have issued a new appeal about the murder of a wealthy businessman who died following a terrifying raid on his luxury home in Leeds 11 years ago.

Clothing tycoon John Luper, 57, was attacked by four or five masked men as he took his dog for a walk near his home in an affluent suburb of the city in February 2004.

Mr Luper, who was a prominent member of the Jewish community, was dragged along a gravel driveway and through garden bushes before he was taken inside his family home on Sandmoor Drive in Alwoodley.

His wife Lyican, daughter Liza Rose and an au pair were tied up with duct tape and left in an upstairs bedroom.

The robbers ransacked the master bedroom before fleeing with jewellery, clothes and cash totalling around £100,000, including a rare platinum and diamond Cartier watch.

Mr Luper’s family freed themselves and found the diabetic businessman unconscious on the kitchen floor.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and a post-mortem examination revealed he died from asphyxia.

A coroner recorded a verdict of unlawful killing at an inquest into Mr Luper’s death in 2006.

The inquest heard that the robbers became concerned about Mr Luper’s health during the raid and fed him marmalade, possibly in an attempt to boost his sugar levels.

Now West Yorkshire Police have urged anyone with information to contact them.

A force spokesman said the stolen Cartier watch was one of only four sold in the UK at that time and asked anyone who may have been offered such an item for sale to get in touch.

Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson said: “The fact that 11 years has passed since John Luper’s death has not lessened how determined we still are to get justice for his family.

“We are continuing to actively investigate his murder and this includes forensic work that could help us to identify those responsible. The scientific techniques available to us are developing all the time and we remain hopeful that they will yet provide us with the evidence we need.

“We are convinced that there are people out there who have the information we need to know about who was responsible.

“It is likely that those answers lie within the criminal fraternity who will have been aware of the murder at the time and will have discussed it over the years.

“Allegiances often change over the years and it may be that people are in a better position now to come forward and tell us what they know. I would urge anyone who has such knowledge or was perhaps on the periphery of this incident to contact us directly or call Crimestoppers anonymously.

“John Luper was taken from his family in the most appalling circumstances and is understandably still very sorely missed by them. We remain fully committed to bringing those responsible to justice.”