THE nightmare was almost at an end.
For months, Robyn Mercer had been coping with an ex-partner who refused to leave their home and accept the 13-year relationship was over.
As she put out the rubbish one Sunday night, Robyn consoled herself with the thought that her former lover, Robert Webb, would soon be gone.
She had finally obtained a legal notice to evict him in just four more days.
Yet these were to be her last moments at the house, not his.
As she walked 20 yards to the dustbin at 9pm, her forehead was smashed with a blow from what detectives believe was either an axe or a machete.
Then, as the 50-year-old mum of two slumped forward, the back of her head was so brutally destroyed that police first thought she had been shot.
Inside the house Webb, now 54, and her children, a son aged 21 and an 18-year-old daughter, heard nothing and did not notice she was missing.
Robyn, an antiques dealer specialising in silver, was left bleeding to death in the Surrey suburb until Webb found her body at 8am the next morning as he left for work as a BT engineer.
Horrified neighbour Peter Richardson, who heard Webb’s cries for help, dialled 999 but it was too late.
Robyn had been dead for hours.
Despite a £10,000 reward and a TV Crimewatch appeal, 18 months later neither Robyn’s killer or the murder weapon have been found.
But next month Webb, originally a prime suspect for the murder but since cleared by police, is expected to be jailed for up to five years.
He has admitted forging Robyn’s will to get her share of the £850,000, five-bedroom house in West Molesey.
And in an exclusive interview with The Sun, Robyn’s brother Quentin Spickernell has spoken about his anger over the fraud case.
He said last night: “Robyn and Robert lived under the same roof but she wanted him out and had made it abundantly clear to him.
“Robyn had got her lawyer to send Robert an ultimatum to pack and vacate by a set date or the matter would be taken further.
“She was murdered four days before that date to leave the house arrived.
“When they split up, Robyn and Webb were in separate bedrooms but he would just not get out.
“It made my sister’s life miserable as he refused to go.
“Robert kept saying he was staying but the honourable thing would have been for him to move out.”
Fitness fanatic Robyn and Webb bought the house in 2007 for just over £400,000.
Land registry records show that Robyn owned 65 per cent of the property, while her former partner had a lifetime interest in the remaining 35 per cent.
But Kingston Crown Court heard this week that six months after the killing on March 13, 2016, Webb “found” Robyn’s will hidden in a book and she had left her 65 per cent share to him.
Webb claimed to have made the forged will to “flush out” Robyn’s real last will and testament, which he believed was held by her family.
He got his brother and best friend to witness Robyn’s fake signature.
Both the witnesses deny knowing what was in the paper they were signing because Webb had covered it up with a box.
But her brother, who is a successful restauranteur in Cape Town, South Africa, has his doubts over whether his sister even left a will.
He said: “When I was told Robyn was dead it was an incredible shock.
“It was just so senseless and incomprehensible. She was a gentle person.
“So Robyn gets murdered and six months later Robert pulls out a will that leaves everything to him.
“He thinks it won’t ring alarm bells with the police and they won’t have a good long look at it?
“Of course I question everything Robert claims.
"Just six months after her death he tried to forge her will to take the 65 per cent of the house that wasn’t his.”
Surrey detectives who are investigating the killing confirmed this week they have ruled out Robert Webb as Robyn’s killer.
Six people have been arrested and quizzed but no one has been charged with the killing.
Holes in the case which do not add up
Quentin, 52, said: “According to the police it was a random opportunist burglary attempt that went wrong.
“Robyn went out to put out the garbage and the police theory is there were at least two people who then proceeded to bludgeon her to death.
“Robert was in the house and said he heard nothing.
“I find it odd that he didn’t notice she had not come back in from putting out the rubbish.
“We as a family find it baffling that she was not missed for ten or 11 hours.”
Surrey Police have also admitted that despite their theory of a burglary gone wrong, apparently no attempts were made to enter the house or remove anything from the premises.
Quentin added: “If it was a burglary, then after they had killed my sister why did they not carry out the burglary?
“If they had gone armed then they had a clear intention to use force but they made no attempt to get in the house.”
Robyn moved to Britain from South Africa in the Eighties and in 1990 married insurance worker Clive Mercer.
They had two children before the marriage collapsed after seven years.
Left to bring up her two children, Robyn trained as an expert in antique silver and for 25 years worked for London silversmiths JH Bourdon-Smith in St James’s.
Her brother said: “Robyn was caring, very non-judgmental and immensely kind.
"She had no enemies and loved her children.
“She was the epitome of sweetness and wouldn’t hurt a fly.
“She lived a sweet and humble life and was not a material person.
“She had a wonderful sense of humour and a sharp wit.
“I don’t know why they had split up as she was a very private person.”
“I have met Robert a few times both in England and in South Africa and he was cordial.”
Robyn’s children will get her 65 per cent share of the house when it is sold.
But Webb, the man who forged her will, also receives the other 35 per cent — worth £300,000.
He was still living at the house until recently but he has not been seen there since appearing in court for the fraud case.
Quentin said: “Her Majesty will decide what to do with him and whatever is decided, then so be it.
“He will get what he deserves, whatever form of retribution it is, and he must be prepared for it.”
Last month, a man was arrested on suspicion of Robyn’s murder and released under investigation.
And two 26-year-old local men arrested on suspicion of being involved in burglary and murder also remain under investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Paddy Mayers said: “The team is committed to getting justice for Robyn and her family and will leave no stone unturned in doing so.”
Additional reporting: JAMIE PYATT, Cape Town