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'It's just tragic': murderer's mum embraces victim's sister in court

PUBLISHED: 18:31 29 November 2019

Peter Bruton. PIC: Facebook.

Peter Bruton. PIC: Facebook.

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The mother of a man convicted of the ferocious murder of another man in a Norwich flat embraced and apologised to the victim's sister.

James Greene with his sister Faye. His family have issued a statement following the conviction of Peter Brunton who was found guilty of murder/manslaughter. Picture: supplied by the Greene family/Norfolk ConstabularyJames Greene with his sister Faye. His family have issued a statement following the conviction of Peter Brunton who was found guilty of murder/manslaughter. Picture: supplied by the Greene family/Norfolk Constabulary

Peter Bruton, 27 and of no fixed address, was given a life sentence after being found guilty by a jury at Norwich Crown Court earlier this week of the murder of James Greene, 39.

At the end of the sentencing hearing on Friday (November 29) Bruton's mother Marilyn went up to Mr Greene's sister Faye and gave her an emotional embrace before saying "sorry".

Bruton had been staying at Mr Greene's flat in Dolphin Grove when he attacked him on the evening of June 4 this year. Mr Greene died two days later.

Speaking after the sentencing hearing Bruton's mother Marilyn, 56, said she had gone up to Mr Greene's family to apologise.

Dolphin Grove. PIC: Peter Walsh.Dolphin Grove. PIC: Peter Walsh.

She said: "I just said sorry to her. It's not her fault. It's just tragic."

She said the issue of drugs was "all up and down the country and it's not stopping".

She added: "I just said sorry to her. She's now got similar problems to my family. I just said James' death wouldn't be in vain."

Mrs Bruton said there were still medical issues with her son's mental health that needed to be dealt with.

She also told how she had tried to get him to attend the sentencing, but to no avail.

She said: "He could've been here and I tried to get him to man up and come."

Officers were called to Mr Greene's address just before 10pm on June 4 after reports of a disturbance at the flat and on arrival they found Mr Greene unresponsive.

He was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital where he died on June 6 of multiple organ failure as a result of asphyxiation.

During the trial the court heard how Mr Greene had fabricated a story to extort £10 from Bruton for drugs before it developed into a heated argument and resulted in Mr Greene sustaining fatal injuries.

Bruton, who had yawned after the jury found him guilty of murder earlier this week, did not turn up for his sentencing hearing but the case carried on in his absence.

In a victim impact statement read out in court during Friday's hearing Mr Greene's sister Faye spoke of the shock and pain the family felt over the death of her brother.

She said: "We have to endure heartbreak day after day, week after week."

She said it was heartbreaking to say goodbye to her baby brother and it had left her dad broken.

She said that James suffered before his vile death and said the family kept asking if there was more they could have done.

Mr Greene's sister said they had no idea of her brother's drugs use and said it had been shocking and painful to find out the full extent.

She said James came from a good family and had come to the UK from South Africa to have a better life.

Although it had started well it did not work out as he slipped into drug use and mixing in the wrong crowd.

She said: "Drugs have torn apart two families that night."

However she said Bruton would one day be released and be free to start again, which was not an option for her brother.

She said Bruton showed no remorse or compassion.

She said the case had brought some justice but added: "Our family will never be the same again."

Bruton had been staying at James Greene's flat in Dolphin Grove when he attacked him on the evening of Tuesday, June 4.

The trial had heard that when interviewed by police Bruton had "wanted him dead" and was about to start "hacking him up" and hanging him when police arrived.

Jailing Bruton for a minimum of 15 years and 191 days, Judge Stephen Holt said: "You have not shown the slightest sign of regret or remorse.

"The words you spoke to police at the scene and in interview were chilling.

"You sought to manipulate the court and try and get the trial stopped, thus prolonging the stress and anxiety of James' family who were in court.

A case that should've taken five days took 12. You demonstrated complete indifference to the verdict by yawning. You are absent from court today."

Judge Holt added: "Your act in killing James Greene was thoroughly callous and cruel."

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