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Son of OAP killed by robber tells attacker he ‘tore family apart’

Joyce Burgess, 84, died after being attacked in her Woking home by Johnny Brazil as he tried to steal her handbag.

Joyce Burgess died following the attack in her home last summer (family handout/PA)
Joyce Burgess died following the attack in her home last summer (family handout/PA)

By Thomas Hornall, PA

The son of a frail 84-year-old woman robbed and killed in her own home has told her attacker his actions have left him “empty and destroyed”.

Ian Burgess described being “confronted with a scene of blood” at the home of his mother Joyce Burgess, who had her skin torn and suffered bruising as she struggled to stop Johnny Brazil making off with her handbag containing just £60 and a gold-plated watch.

The serial robber, 27, had walked through her open front door on a hot day in July last year in Woking, Surrey, asking the pensioner for a glass of water.

She was kind and helpful and placed her trust in people who asked for her help. Her trust was destroyed in the vilest fashion Ian Burgess

She died in hospital three days later, after suffering a heart attack brought on by the physical and emotional trauma of the attack, prosecutor Hugh Forgan told Guildford Crown Court.

Mr Burgess told the court on Friday: “Events instigated by you Johnny Brazil have served to tear my family apart.

“Instead of passing away peacefully in her sleep because of her age, her final days were spent in severe pain, from the bruising to her chest, face and arms and even more pain from the skin being ripped from her arms during a violent struggle over a few pounds in cash.

“My mother was a proud woman. She was kind and helpful and placed her trust in people who asked for her help. Her trust was destroyed in the vilest fashion.

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Johnny Brazil admitted killing the 84-year-old (Surrey Police/PA)

“You probably were not expecting a woman of her age to fight for her belongings. I lie awake at night imagining how scared she was fighting to keep her few possessions.

“I have lost the person whom I confided in constantly, who I went to for advice. I feel empty and destroyed.

“I can’t conceal the contempt I have for you, Johnny Brazil.”

Brazil listened without emotion in the dock, wearing a white T-shirt and with the word “Mum” tattooed on his left arm.

He is due to be sentenced by judge Jonathan Black on Friday.

He pleaded guilty to the manslaughter and robbery of Ms Burgess in June after previously admitting a further charge of robbery, three counts of burglary, attempted burglary, possessing a lock knife and damaging property.

PA

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