News, Culture & Society

Family heartbroken at loss of Brighton University worker

A university worker allegedly killed in her own home by an employee died of multiple stab wounds, it has been revealed. 

Jillian Howell, 46, a payroll manager at the University of Brighton, was found lying dead in a pool of her own blood. 

David Browning, 51, an employee in her department, allegedly killed her before handing himself into to police. 

Her family described her as a ‘kind, gentle and loving sister, aunty and friend’ in an emotional tribute to Ms Howell.

Jillian Howell died from multiple stab wounds, an inquest heard

David Browning, pictured, has been charged with her murder and will appear in court next week

Jillian Howell, left, died from multiple stab wounds, an inquest heard. Her colleague David Browning, right, has been charged with her murder

At the opening of the inquest into her death coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley said Miss Howell had suffered stab wounds to her chest, neck and abdomen.

The court heard police had been contacted by a 51-year-old man at around 6.08am on the morning of October 26. 

Detective Chief Inspector Till Sanderson of Sussex Police said: ‘He informed officers that he had killed his boss. Officers then attended at an address and found Jillian deceased in her home.’ 

The coroner suspended he inquest while criminal proceedings in the case were dealt with.  

After the tragic death her family paid tribute to the lifelong Brighton and Hove Albion Fan who had also worked as a volunteer for the Samaritans charity.  

In a statement the family said: ‘Jill was a kind, gentle and loving sister, aunty and friend. We are shocked and heartbroken by her loss. 

‘She touched many lives in her volunteer work with the Samaritans and was always helping others. 

‘She loved to travel and was a passionate Albion fan and season ticket holder. She lived life to the fullest and was dearly loved by her friends and family.’ 

Alison Pratt, Director of the Brighton, Hove & District branch of the Samaritans, said Miss Howell had been a volunteer with the charity for 10 years and was dedicated to giving her time to helping others. 

She said: ‘As well as supporting people in distress, she played a vital role in recruiting and training new volunteers. 

‘I will remember her as a warm, compassionate and committed member of the team. She will be very sadly missed.’ 

Ms Howell was found by police dead at her home in Brighton, pictured, and a murder probe was launched

Ms Howell was found by police dead at her home in Brighton, pictured, and a murder probe was launched

On the Sunday following her death Brighton & Hove Albion FC held a minute’s applause for season ticketholder in the 46th minute of their game. 

Miss Howell, who joined the University of Brighton payroll department in 2015, was a popular member of staff who was well-liked by colleagues. 

A university spokesman said: ‘Jill was a much loved and respected colleague. She will be greatly missed.’ 

David Browning, 51, of Seaford, East Sussex, was charged with murder and possessing a blade. 

He is set to appear before Lewes Crown Court next week. 

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