Two pensioners killed during 'vicious' raids, Coventry Crown Court told

Arthur Gumbley Credit: PA Media

An alleged intruder killed two elderly homeowners during separate "vicious" burglaries, a double murder trial has heard.

Amos Wilsher is on trial at Coventry Crown Court, accused of murdering Arthur Gumbley, 87, and Josephine Kaye, 88, in 2017 and 2020.

The 28-year-old’s younger brother, Jason, is also on trial at the same court, accused of the murder of widower Mr Gumbley, who died in December 2017, three weeks after being punched and kicked at his home in Endwood Drive, Little Aston, Staffordshire.

The brothers deny murder, as well as further charges of conspiracy to rob and wounding with intent relating to a third pensioner who was attacked at his home in Derbyshire.

Opening the case against both men on Thursday, prosecution QC Simon Denison said 22-year-old Jason Wilsher, Amos Wilsher and a third man are alleged to have driven to retired business owner Mr Gumbley’s bungalow on the evening of Tuesday November 21, 2017.

They are also alleged to have been involved in a 2017 attack on a third victim, Dennis Taylor, in Creswell near Bolsover.

The prosecution allege that Amos Wilsher acted alone at the home of Mrs Kaye in Stoke-on-Trent on the night of Thursday February 27, 2020.

The prosecuting barrister said of Mr Gumbley: "A team of three robbers shattered the calm routine of his life."

“They subjected him to a vicious assault inside his own home. They punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground."

Mr Grumbley was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries, but their effect "was too much for his body to withstand" and he died on December 12, 2017.

Mr Taylor, 82, was attacked four days after Mr Gumbley. The court heard that the men allegedly forced their way into the property – after claiming to be police – and knocked Mr Taylor to the ground before beating him repeatedly.

Josephine Kaye, who died after she was assaulted at her home in Stoke-on-Trent in 2020. Credit: Staffordshire Police/PA

Prosecution barrister Mr Denison went on: "On the evening of Thursday 27th February 2020 a further robbery was committed."

"The victim was Josephine Kaye. She was 88 years old, and she was just 4ft 8in tall."

"She was attacked in her home on that Thursday evening by one man, acting alone. He wore a mask and gloves."

"He subjected her to a vicious assault inside her own home."

Mrs Kaye was taken to hospital for treatment for a leg fracture and significant bruising.

Mr Denison told the court: "While in hospital she was able to tell the police what she could remember."

"But, as with Arthur Gumbley, she had a number of pre-existing medical conditions, and her age and her frailty were such that the effect of the injuries inflicted, and the complications they caused, were too great for her body to withstand."

Amos and Jason Wilsher, both formerly of Tibshelf in Derbyshire, deny the charges.

The trial continues.