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Killer tortured by road death of little sister

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Tyshaun Brown is led into court (Photograph Blaire Simmons)

A man who stabbed his father to death was scarred for life in childhood after he watched the “horrific” death of his little sister in a road accident, a court heard yesterday.

Tyshaun Brown was only 9 in August 2003 when his sister Tyaisha Cox, 6, was hit by a car and killed as the two headed to summer camp.

Brown 27, will be sentenced later after he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Amon Brown, 52, on the basis of diminished responsibility.

Amon Brown (File photograph)

Esme Williams, the former head of the charity Big Brothers Big Sisters, told the court that Brown as a child “blamed himself over and over again for not holding his sister’s hand at the crosswalk” on the day she died.

Tyaisha was killed outside Purvis Primary School in Warwick 19 years ago after she and her brother took the bus from Somerset to join their camp at the school.

The bus waited as children who got off the vehicle used the pedestrian crossing.

But a car tried to overtake the bus and struck the little girl.

The driver was charged with driving without due care and attention but was acquitted in 2005.

Ms Williams highlighted an incident after the young girl’s death when Brown was found at the water’s edge “yelling and screaming that he wanted to die” until two people pulled him away.

Brown stabbed his father 26 times on July 8, 2020 in Cedar Hill, Warwick after the two got into an argument about his ex-wife.

He attacked Amon Brown after telling his sister and mother that he intended to kill him.

Brown was the subject of a conditional discharge at the time for assaulting police.

Elizabeth Christopher, who appeared for Brown and read out Ms Williams’ statement, said that “the trauma of witnessing his sister’s death was not adequately addressed”.

She added: “Government services have failed Tyshaun over the years and the trauma of his sister’s death has impacted his whole life journey.”

She said Ms Williams’ “prayer and plea to the court” was for Brown to get enough psychiatric help behind bars to give him “the ability to to make the best of the years while incarcerated”.

Puisne Judge Shade Subair Williams earlier heard that Brown, who had been drinking before the attack on his father, had been assessed by a psychiatrist.

A report from January 2021 said that the main contributors to Brown’s behaviour on the night of the killing were “mental disorders specifically associated with stress, exacerbated by alcohol, which constituted an abnormality of mind”.

Brown claimed that he “blacked out” before the attack and did not remember the details.

He was found by experts to be suffering from “prolonged grief disorder” from his sister’s death.

But the psychiatrist’s report said alcohol was not believed to be “a major factor” in the killing.

The psychiatrist added that he did not believe Brown’s mental disorder was “of a nature or degree that would normally warrant hospital treatment”.

Victim impact statements from the pair’s family outlined the grief, emotional trauma and pain caused by the death of Amon Brown.

Statements from the family, which were read out in court on Wednesday, highlighted that Brown had not shown any remorse for his actions.

But Ms Christopher also read out a statement from Brown’s mother, Margaret Moore, which appealed for his psychological distress to be taken in account.

Amon Brown had driven his son to her home, where Brown lived, on the night of the attack.

Brown phoned his sister, Shauntorri Franks, after an argument broke out and told her: “I’m going to kill daddy.”

Brown attacked his father outside the home, punched him off the porch and then chased and stabbed him with a kitchen knife from the house.

Ms Moore, who called police, was said in the summary of evidence to be “distraught to the point of hysteria”.

Brown shouted to his mother after police arrested him: “Sorry, mama, he deserved it – take care of my baby, I’m sorry.”

Ms Moore’s statement said that “as a child growing up, Tyshaun was a loving and caring individual and still is”.

She said Tyaisha’s death hurt the whole family, but that Brown, who had been “walking his sister to school hand in hand”, was left with “a lot of pain and regret without receiving sufficient counselling”.

Ms Moore added that Brown “loved his father and grieved every day”.

Ms Christopher said that the psychiatrist’s report noted the “impulsive and unplanned” nature of the attack.

She told the court: “He did it outside his home in front of family members, didn’t flee or try to hide anything and kept saying these strange statements and the ridiculous statement that `he deserved it’.

“Amon Brown did not deserve to die – it’s irrational.”

The prosecution asked for a sentence of between 25 and 35 years.

But Ms Christopher said 11 to 15 years was a more appropriate jail term.

The case was adjourned until next Thursday.

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