Brighton Uni employee found guilty of murdering his boss

He wrote ‘bully’ on her forehead after stabbing her 15 times


A Brighton university worker has been convicted of murdering his boss at Hove Crown Court.

David Browning, 52, stabbed his boss, Jill Howell, 15 times last October. Whilst she lay on the floor, he used a marker pen to write the word "bully" on her forehead.

During the time he was at Miss Howell's house, he updated his Facebook profile picture to an image with a slogan "stand up to bullies, then kill them." He then went to a police station and said "in a nutshell, I have killed my boss."

Browning will face a minimum of 25 years behind bars as the jury found him guilty of murder.

Browning is married with two children and worked in the payroll department at the University of Brighton. Mr Browning repeatedly invited Miss Howell out for drinks, as well as sending her inappropriate texts outside of work.

The convicted Browning lost his father in 2015 and began to suffer with depression. Miss Howell, an ex-Samaritan volunteer, listened to his problems and spent time with him in order to try to help.

The court was told that Browning because obsessed with Howell, sending her gifts and inappropriate text messages. On 26 October 2017, Browning went to have dinner at Howell's house in Brighton. When she rejected his advances at the dinner, he became angry.

When Howell bent over to tie a shoelace, Browning stabbed her in the back. Ms Howell grabbed the knife and screamed "you bastard" to which Browning replied "this is what mental health does to you". He then proceeded to stab her 15 times. After stabbing her, Browning reportedly held a shotgun he had purchased to his throat, but was unable to pull the trigger.

In a statement issued through Sussex Police, 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."