DJ Derek’s family begins legal process to have him presumed dead

Derek Serpell-Morris, 'Britain's Oldest DJ, has been missing since last July

DJ Derek‘s family has begun legal proceedings to have him presumed dead.

Derek Serpell-Morris, 73, often dubbed “Britain’s Oldest DJ”, has been missing since last July, but his pension is still being paid into his bank account and monthly outgoings such as rent and utility bills continue to be taken out.

His older brother, Gerald Serpell-Morris, told the Bristol Post he and the family are now planning to make an application under the Presumption of Death Act. If it is approved by a judge at the High Court, the family will gain power of attorney over his bank accounts.


Discussing the likelihood of DJ Derek being presumed dead, Gerald Serpell-Morris said: “One very strong piece of evidence is that since the day he disappeared his bank accounts have remained untouched.”

“Although there are lots of theories that he could have been ill or there could have been foul play, it is just speculation and there is no evidence to point to any of that,” he added. “All we can hope for is that whatever end he has come to, it was not a nasty one.”

Aside from a one-off show on New Year’s Eve last year, Morris retired from DJing in 2013. He built a reputation for playing rocksteady, reggae, ska, dancehall and soul during his career which featured slots at Glastonbury and the Big Chill.

Morris launched his DJ career in his mid-30s after working in the accounts department of confectionery firm Cadbury’s. In 2006, he told the BBC that he left the firm after years of “domestic hell” before starting work as a DJ in a Bristol pub.

Over more than 40 years he established himself as a fixture on the city’s clubbing scene. In 2012 he won the Lord Mayor’s medal for his “outstanding” contribution to the music scene in the city.

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