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A man accused of brutally stabbing a work colleague to death has appeared in court.
David Browning, 51, of Willow Drive, Seaford worked with Jillian Howell, 46 in the payroll department at the University of Brighton it has emerged.
Browning spoke only to confirm his name at the very brief hearing at Brighton Magistrates’ Court this morning.
Tomorrow he will appear in front of a judge at Lewes Crown Court.
Browning, who was a technician in the university’s payroll department is accused of murdering payroll manager Jillian, known as Jill, at her home in Sandgate Road, near Fiveways on Wednesday night.
Family and friends of Samaritans volunteer and Albion fan Jillian sat in the public gallery at the court, as tributes to the “kind, charming” woman continued to pour in.
Browning, who used to be the coach of Seaford Town FC, showed no emotion as he looked up from the dock to where her family sat, before being told he would be held in custody.
He is also accused of being in possession of a lock knife when he handed himself in to police on Thursday morning.
University bosses paid tribute to Jillian and confirmed the pair worked together in the payroll department.
A spokesman for the University of Brighton said: “The University community is shocked and saddened by the news of Jill Howell’s death. Jill was a much loved and highly respected colleague. She will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with her family and friends.
“We have been contacting members of staff to inform them of the tragic news and we have put in place mechanisms to offer support at this extremely difficult time.
“We can confirm Dave Browning’s status as an employee of the university.”
Season ticket Jillian’s usual seat in row U of the North Stand the American Express Community Stadium sat empty on Sunday.
Fans and friends who sit near her touched her empty seat as a sign of respect when the Seagulls scored.
Jack Beck, who sat next to her, said: “We were season ticket neighbours for four years and we would cheer and celebrate goals together as well as all the guys around us.
“It was very upsetting all around us but when we scored the equaliser we all tapped her seat and said that goal was for you Jillian.”
A minute’s applause was held for Jillian in the 46th minute of the game against Southampton.
Jillian’s ex-boyfriend Peter Hunt paid tribute to her saying she was a ‘charming’ woman who had the most beautiful smile.
Source: The Argus