Photo hope in hunt for landlord's killer

DETECTIVES hunting for the killers of murdered city publican Billy Sibbald have released pictures of the clothes and jewellery the 48-year-old was wearing the night he died.

Police hope the pictures will jog the memory of someone who saw the pub landlord hours before he died or has seen some of his possessions since his death.

It is hoped his unusual American-made jacket or distinctive jewellery and cigarette lighter will have stood out enough to have been noticed by anyone who has come across them.

None of the items have been seen by police or Mr Sibbald’s family and friends since he disappeared on October 8.

The pub landlord and former sauna owner, from Joppa, Edinburgh, disappeared after telling wife Julie, 35, he was going to meet some business associates.

His badly decomposed body was found three months later in remote woodland by a lay-by on the A1 near Musselburgh.

Various theories have been put forward for Mr Sibbald’s murder, including speculation that he may have been the victim of a gangland hit.

His family has angrily denied reports the former sauna boss was killed because he owed money to drug dealers.

The murder investigation has so far met a wall of silence amid fears the rumours of an underworld connection have deterred people from coming forward .

Today the detective leading the murder inquiry, Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane, said he hoped the new pictures might prompt someone to come forward with a vital clue.

"The clothes Billy was wearing the night he died have never been found and the style of clothing he wore that night is very distinctive. The jacket is from the United States and is made by Gant. Billy bought the clothes when he was in America [on holiday]. Perhaps someone recognises these clothes. Maybe someone they know has been wearing them or they have seen them be disposed of.

DCI McFarlane also appealed to jewellers and pawnbrokers to keep their eyes out for Mr Sibbald’s belcher-style gold chain and bracelet. He said: "The jewellery is fairly unique and while we have had a look around some shops we are keen to speak with anyone who may have been offered those goods .

"This also applies to Billy’s lighter which again is very distinctive and expensive looking. It was bought in Edinburgh and is worth around 250-300. Du Pont is an unusual make and we hope that perhaps someone remembers a friend or relative using it."

DCI McFarlane said the inquiry team was "making good progress", but there was still the potential for more information to be gathered from the public.

He repeated an appeal for the author of a mystery letter which contained details of the murder along with a series of newspaper clippings to contact detectives.

It is known that Mr Sibbald, who ran the Pop Inn pub in Portobello and had recently sold the Orchid House sauna in the New Town, was picked up from his Portobello home by unknown men at about 8pm the night he went missing.