Lecturer killed in flat left £1.3m in will


Roger Gray was killed in March

By Kevin Duguid

A RETIRED lecturer who was killed in his upmarket Edinburgh flat has left almost 1.3m in his will.

Roger Gray was found dead in the hallway of his home in the leafy Morningside area of the city in March.

And a 20-year-old was later charged in connection with his death.

The well-travelled lecturer, who was known to be gay, has now left 1276307.95 in his will, according to court documents.

It is understood that Mr Gray did not have a partner, and has only one surviving sibling.

However, Mr Gray’s death was not the first tragedy to hit his family. His elder brother committed suicide on a train line in the city.

And his sister died last year, although she is thought to have passed away as a result of natural causes.

Acquaintances and neighbours described Mr Gray as a

“courteous’ and

“intelligent’ man.

After his death, details emerged about the Heriot-Watt lecturer’s lifestyle, including how gay and straight friends would mingle at parties in his Merchiston Crescent flat.

Mr Gray worked his entire adult life at Heriot-Watt University, and for the past 12 years lived alone at the flat where he died.

The flat, in a converted stone villa, is in one of Scotland’s richest postcodes. The street counts former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook among previous residents.

Mr Gray retired from Heriot-Watt University three years ago but continued to teach part-time.

The statistics lecturer had worked at the Department of Actuarial Mathematics and Statistics since its creation in 1972.

He was co-authoring a book called Models for Managing Risk in General Insurance with Cambridge-based Dr Susan Pitts.

The title was due to be published by Cambridge University Press in autumn this year. Dr Pitts’ colleagues said she had gone home on learning of Mr Gray’s death.

On his personal web page, Mr Gray listed

“vulgar behaviour’ and

“the BBC’s obsession with sport’ as his dislikes.

He said he was a fan of travelling, Hercule Poirot, as well as opera and choral music. He also listed Radio 4, Radio 3, Radio 7 and BBC4 amongst his likes.

The University of St Andrews graduate had travelled widely through his career. He had given lectures and presentations throughout the world, including in Hungary and China.

The Heriot-Watt lecturer’s death sparked a major forensic operation

And in recent years he gave courses in Russia, Ukraine, Sofia and Lithuania. He was a member of the Scottish Arts Club, the Edinburgh Festival Society and the Scottish Actuaries Club.

For a number of years he also directed a series of courses on statistics for staff at the Scottish Executive.

A death certificate for Mr Gray’s elder brother, William Morris Gray, revealed he was an architect and that he died after he was decapitated on a railway line near Stanley Place, Edinburgh, in 1987, aged 46.

Mr Gray’s sister, Sheila McNaughton McAra, died last October.

A death notice said she died peacefully in hospital, describing her as

“much loved sister’ of Roger and the late Morris. The notice suggested donations to cancer research.

However, it is believed that Mr Gray was survived by another brother, an accountant who has now settled in England.

At the time of his death neighbour and friend Bill Coventry said he was not aware of a

“regular person’ in Mr Gray’s life.

He said:

“He was a very intelligent man. He was utterly courteous and polite. I was at a party for his 64thbirthday. They were informal and they were mostly Heriot-Watt faculty.

“There was a mixture of gay and straight people at them and they were all very nice people. “

John Holcombe of the Wagner Society, of which Mr Gray was a member, said:

“He seemed perfectly nice and a friendly sort of person. “