An alleged intruder killed two elderly homeowners – including a much-loved widower in Birmingham – during a “vicious” wave of burglaries, a court has heard.
Amos Wilsher is accused of murdering 87-year-old Arthur Gumbley and Josephine Kaye, 88, in 2017 and 2020.
His younger brother Jason is also on trial at Coventry Crown Court, accused of murdering the widower Mr. Gumbley.
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Gumbley died in December 2017, three weeks after being beaten and kicked at his home in Endwood Drive, Little Aston, near Sutton Coldfield.
The brothers deny murder, as well as further allegations of conspiracy to robbery and intentional wounding in connection with a third pensioner who was attacked at his home in Derbyshire.
Simon Denison QC, prosecutor, said 22-year-old Jason Wilsher, Amos Wilsher and a third man allegedly drove to the retired business owner Mr Gumbley’s bungalow on the evening of Tuesday, November 21, 2017.
They are also said to have been involved in an attack in 2017 on a third victim, Dennis Taylor, in Creswell, near Bolsover.
The Crown claims that Amos Wilsher shopped alone at Mrs Kaye’s home in Stoke-on-Trent on the night of Thursday 27 February 2020, wearing a mask and gloves when he broke her leg and stole cash.
She also died at the hospital about three weeks after being injured.
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The barrister said of Mr Gumbley: “A team of three robbers shattered the quiet routine of his life.
“That team of three had traveled to Little Aston in a Mazda RX8 car that had been purchased in London the day before to be used in their criminal activities.
“They had traveled south from the Tibshelf area of Derbyshire. They had driven around the area where Arthur Gumbley lived, looking for easy targets.
“Two of them broke into his home by smashing the window in the kitchen door at the back of the house and turning the key to unlock it.
“When he went to investigate the case, they subjected him to a violent assault inside his own home. They hit him in the face and hit him in the ground.
“They kicked him in the shoulder and back, they dragged him through his house, they tore his watch off his wrist and tore the fragile skin from the back of his hand.
“They searched his house, and they took money, jewelery that belonged to his late wife, and a number of antique items that he had collected during his long life.”
Sir. Denison continued: “On the evening of Thursday, February 27, 2020, another robbery was committed.
“The victim was Josephine Kaye. She was 88 years old and she was only 4ft 8in tall.
“She lived alone in a bungalow in Stoke-on-Trent, where she had lived for many years. Like Arthur Gumbley, she had worked hard all her life to support and support her family.
“She was attacked in her home that Thursday night by a man who was shopping alone. He was wearing a mask and gloves.
“He gained access to her home by ringing the doorbell, and when she answered, he claimed to be a police officer, and he forced her inside. He subjected her to a vicious assault inside her own home. He ripped off her ‘lifeline.’ in pieces.safety pendant from her wrist.
“He repeatedly threw her to the ground, he dragged her through her home, and he threatened her with a screwdriver. He found her safely in a closet and demanded that she tell him the code, which she could not do.”
Denison told the court: “While she was in the hospital, she was able to tell the police what she could remember of what had happened.
“But as with Arthur Gumbley, she had a number of pre-existing medical conditions, and her age and her fragility were of such a nature that the effect of the injuries inflicted and the complications they caused were too great for her body to She died at the hospital on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
“The prosecution’s case is that Amos Wilsher was the man who forced herself into Josephine Kaye’s home and robbed her, inflicting the injuries that caused her death.”
Amos and Jason Wilsher, both formerly of Tibshelf, near Alfreton, deny the allegations.
The trial continues.
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