Westcliff man jailed for 'man boobs' murder

Gary Brown
Image caption Gary Brown said Mr Berwick would not stop laughing at him

A man who murdered his neighbour after he made fun of his "man boobs" has been jailed for life.

Gary Brown, 38, beat 66-year-old Roger Berwick with a chair leg at his bedsit in Palmerston Road, Westcliff, Southend. Mr Berwick's body was found there on 7 January.

Brown denied murder and was convicted by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court.

He was told he must serve a minimum of 14 and a half years in prison.

During his trial, Brown said he had been drinking with Mr Berwick when his friend began laughing at him and insulting his mother.

The scuffle began after Mr Berwick mocked Brown's "man boobs", the defendant, who handed himself in to police, told Chelmsford Crown Court.

"I asked him to leave but he didn't," he said.

"He kept laughing and got up and had this shot glass in his hand and he went for me with it.

"I hit him about three times. I remember hitting him and that's it."

Mr Berwick was left with a serious head injury, 25 fractures to his ribs, a broken breast bone, broken jaw, broken arm and broken finger.

Speaking after the case, Det Ch Insp Godfrey O'Toole, from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate, said: "Roger Berwick was a frail and vulnerable man.

"In January this year he died as a result of the terrible injuries inflicted upon him during a sustained and brutal attack by the defendant, Gary Brown."

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