Wayne Morris, 47, a refuse worker of Larch Close, Bognor Regis, was sentenced at Brighton Crown Court on Thursday 18 February, having been convicted the previous day after an eight-day trial, of the murder of his partner Ruth Brown, 52, at her address in nearby Collyer Avenue on Wednesday 8 April last year.
Ruths family have issued this photograph of her;
Morris was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum term of 17 years.
Police were called to Ruth’s home three days later after she was found by family members following concerns that she hadn’t been seen or heard from since Wednesday.
She was found dead in her bed but it became clear that she had been attacked in the kitchen and a postmortem confirmed that she had died from severe and repeated head injuries.
It was found that the injuries had been caused by a plastic tray, parts of which were found in the kitchen and in a bin outside the house.
Morris had moved her upstairs and attempted to clean up the kitchen, but then left the house, and on the Saturday, 11 April, fled Bognor and went to the Isle of Wight with a tent to sleep rough. Police enquiries located him and he was arrested by Hampshire officers in Sandown on the Sunday morning.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Mark O’Brien of Sussex Police said; “Morris and Ruth Brown had been in a relationship for a number of years. They lived at separate addresses but Morris had moved in with Ruth, due to the pandemic. just a few days before the murder. On 8 April the couple were involved in an argument culminating in Morris carrying out a violent and sustained attack on Ruth, that caused serious and significant injuries and from which she died.
“Having admitted in court to killing Ruth, Morris made out that he could not remember his actions due to intoxication. The jury have clearly seen through this defence in returning their verdict of murder
“My thoughts remain with the family of Ruth Brown and I thank them for their resolve throughout the investigation and trial. The violent actions of Morris have cut short the life of Ruth, devastating her family and friends. I sincerely hope that in time they can come to terms with what has happened. Wayne Morris will now spend many years of his life behind bars.
“I also wish to thank the CPS, and particularly prosecuting counsel Mr Philip Bennetts QC for his work in presenting this case.”
Ruth’s brother, Frank Brown, speaking on behalf of her family, said: “My sister Ruth was taken from us in the most terrible and tragic of circumstances.
“Wayne Morris has said on several occasions during this trial that he will have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. He is not the only one. Lauren and Arran will have to live for the rest of their lives without a loving mother. My sister and I will have to live for the rest of our lives without a beloved sister. Our wider family will have to live for the rest of their lives without a niece, an auntie, a cousin and a Godmother. Others will have to live for the rest of their lives without a dear and close friend.
“The shock of hearing of Ruth’s murder almost a year ago, and listening to the harrowing evidence at trial over the last week, will remain with us as a family for the rest of our lives. It is especially painful as it came only a matter of months after we lost our eldest brother to pneumonia in January 2020. We were still mourning the loss of one sibling when another was wrenched from us in the most violent and dreadful way.”
“We thank the jury for finding Wayne Morris guilty of this shocking and vicious crime, and we ask that our privacy be respected during this difficult time.”