Oxford Prof Not Charged Over Death

A 49-year-old Oxford University don arrested over the death of a professor has been told he won't be charged in connection with it.

Devinderjit Sivia, 49, was arrested at his home in Southmoor, Oxfordshire, on suspicion of murder in January after police discovered the body of Professor Steven Rawlings, 50 (pictured).

The two academics had been friends for 30 years and had published a book together.

Dr Sivia had been due to answer bail on Wednesday following a police investigation into the death but the Crown Prosecution has decided not to take any further action.

Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern CPS, said:

"Professor Steven Rawlings died at the Oxfordshire home of a friend on Wednesday January 11 2012. A post-mortem examination was conducted, but was inconclusive and further tests were required.

"Devinderjit Sivia was arrested, interviewed and bailed pending further inquiries. I received a file from Thames Valley Police, have considered all the evidence, and have decided that Devinderjit Sivia will not face any charges in relation to the death of Steven Rawlings."

Tributes were paid to the St Peter's College academic in the wake of his death, with Vice Chancellor of Oxford University Professor Andrew Hamilton saying the entire university community had been "profoundly saddened and shocked'' by his "tragic and untimely death''.

Prof Rawlings' widow, Linda Rawlings, rallied to support Dr Sivia following his arrest.

In a statement issued through Thames Valley Police, Mrs Rawlings said: "I do not believe that Steve's death is murder and I do not believe Devinder should be tarnished in this way.''

Describing her husband as a "well-loved, caring, intelligent, sensitive man,'' she added: "Steve and Devinder were best friends since college and I believe this is a tragic accident.''

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