Belfast Telegraph

Dungannon man murdered in Brighton just weeks after his wife’s death

By Adrian Rutherford

This is the Dungannon-born “gentle giant” who was murdered in a vicious stabbing in England as he was still grieving the death of his wife from cancer.

A treasured family photograph shows a smiling Jeff Burrows and his partner Brione Dene on their wedding day in January, but the devoted couple’s time together was tragically short.

A day after they married Brione lost her fight against cancer.

Then, on Sunday, Mr Burrows was knifed to death at his flat in Brighton.

Police said the 40-year-old bricklayer, who previously lived at Stangmore Cottages in Dungannon, was not the victim of a random attack.

A 21-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of murder was yesterday released on bail.

Jeff’s heartbroken father, David, a well-known painter and decorator in Dungannon, described how he had lost “the best lad in the world”.

“It’s like I’ve lost part of myself,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“It’s terrible. He was a great fella, the best lad in the world. He did nobody any harm.”

Mr Burrows, who is flying over to England today to identify Jeff’s body, said he had no idea why his son was murdered.

“Police are releasing nothing, not even to us,” he said.

“We don’t even know if we can clear his flat because it’s a crime scene.”

Jeff spent most of his life in Dungannon and was childhood friends with golf star Darren Clarke (right).

He moved to Brighton 17 years ago and married Brione in the Fourways Nursing Home on January 21 this year, but she died the following day.

Since her death Jeff lived with his dog Winston in a flat in the Norfolk Square area of the seaside town.

He was discovered at 7.40pm on Sunday by emergency services responding to reports that a man had been stabbed.

Paramedics battled for 80 minutes to save him, but he was pronounced dead shortly after 9pm.

On Monday a post-mortem examination revealed that he died of stab wounds.

A 21-year-old local man was arrested the same morning, but has since been released on bail until May 29.

Police are examining a knife recovered in the flat to see if it is connected to the crime.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Sloan from Surrey and Sussex major crime team said: “We do not believe that this was a random attack.”

Jeff was well-known in the Brighton area.

Friends gathered at the Temple Bar remembered a “top bloke” and “gentle giant”.

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