Man Appears in Court Charged With Pavilion Gardens Murder
A man who Sussex Police have named as Sergio Lemori, has appeared in court charged with the murder of 54 year old Andrew O’Connell from Kent.
It follows a serious assault that occurred close to Brighton Museum and Art Gallery located in the Royal Pavilion gardens, 12A Pavilion Parade, Brighton, at about 11.55pm on Tuesday 7 August.
The victim, Andrew O’Connell (pictured below), who was sleeping rough when the incident occurred, was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, where he later sadly died from his injuries.
On Wednesday 8 August the Pavilion Gardens and the museum remained closed to the public for a number of hours as forensic investigations were carried out.
Homeless and unemployed Sergio Lemori who is 32, was arrested in connection with the assault in nearby Church Street, shortly before 9pm on Wednesday 8 August. He appeared before Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday 14 August, where he pleaded not guilty to murder.
Mr Lemori will remain remanded in custody ahead of a pre-trial hearing on 29 October, and a trial date has been set for 21 January 2019.
Andrew O’Connells family on Friday 10 August paid tribute to Andrew stating, “he was family man who was loved by many. He was a kind, intelligent man with a free spirit who loved to travel.”
The family added, “As a family we are utterly devastated, hurt and angry that he has been taken so cruelly from us. We ask that our privacy is respected at this time.”
Sussex Police stated: “Andrew’s family paid tribute to him and wished to clarify that while he was rough sleeping when the incident occurred, he was not homeless, as has been reported by some media.”
Police are not seeking anyone else in connection with the incident at this stage, however the force are asking anyone who may have any information to, “report it online or call 101, quoting Operation Dickenson.”
Alternatively, if you would like to remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers by visiting their website or calling them on 0800 555 111.