Thomas "Tom" Hayes was the surprisingly wayward brother of the more staid and proper Esther Hayes. He spent many years in London, leaving Esther to look after their bed-ridden mother, drifting from one job to another. Released from prison and with nowhere else to go in May 1961, he foisted himself upon his sister, disrupting her life and routine. Post-prison schemes to make money included trying to sell a fruit machine to Jack and Annie Walker, and attempting to persuade his sister to invest in jukeboxes. Eventually a confronation with Brian Foley, Esther's boss and friend, was what persuaded him to leave her alone. He disappeared overnight without explaining to Esther why he was going, nor where to.
By January 1963, the two were in touch again, and Esther told Christine Appleby that he seemed to be doing alright and was supposedly in employment but she could never be sure that she could trust what he told her.