David Browning had admitted to manslaughter of Jillian Howell but on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Today he was found guilty of her murder after a week-long trial revealed his obsessive and vindictive nature. Prosecutor Alan Gardner told the court and jury that Browning was “deeply self-centred and selfish” and further that Browning had offered “no explanation for why he did it, only to say ‘it must have been my depressive illness’. He became plainly attracted to her, but, on 26 October last year, he discovered she didn’t have the same feelings as him. She rejected him and Mr Browning reacted with anger and violence.” The married father-of-two sent suicide notes to various people before arriving at Jillian Howell’s house. Ms. Howell was going to take Browning to the hospital after he disclosed that information to her and it was in the moment she was putting her shoes on that he initiated the attack that killed her.
As we previously reported, Jillian Howell was stabbed to death in her own home. She had formed a very close relationship with Browning when she began to counsel him through the grief of his late father’s passing. On the night of the cold-blooded attack, Browning dined at Ms. Howell’s house. He initially claimed he stabbed Jillian multiple times in a depressive rage but the jury and judge’s decision today has proved otherwise. After the murder, he wrote ‘bully’ on her forehead, spray painted her walls implicating another man and waited six hours before turning himself into the police where he told them “in a nutshell, I have killed my boss”.
Sussex Police have said “evidence of his intentions to kill Jill were contained in several suicide notes he had written and posted to relatives and work colleagues, writing that he was “ridding of world of a horrible person”. To further the claim of Jill being a bully he uploaded an image to his Facebook account after killing her”.
According to numerous sources who were present at the trial, the family of Jillian Howell erupted in cries of “thank you” and “yes” when the verdict was announced. Judge Christine Laing thanked the jury for enduring parts of the trial which had “elements that were very difficult to hear.” She also announced to the court Browning’s minimum sentence will be 25 years as he was carrying a knife. Sentencing will be tomorrow (Thursday) at Hove Crown Court.