A TAROT card reader has told how a man confessed to murder during a reading after his cards revealed the awful truth.

Jayne Braiden then kept the murderer talking for an hour at her tiny seafront shop until police arrived to take him away.

Star Randel-Hanson stabbed his housemate Derek Marney to death and left his body on the kitchen floor for ten days before walking into Miss Braiden's JJ Tarot in Madeira Drive.

The ten cards he picked out of a deck of 52 included death and justice - and he broke down as Miss Braiden, 56, read his third card, the devil.

She said: "He started crying just after that.

"The first was the blasted tower - falling out with someone, really serious row.

"Then there was the emperor, dominant male.

"Then the devil card means obviously something awful.

"He broke down and I said to him, 'look I can see here that this is not good, you need to tell me everything, let’s talk'.

"He said: 'It’s terrible, I killed him.

"He told me that he killed him but he did not mean to and it was awful."

Miss Braiden calmly told the 56-year-old that she would have to tell police and asked if he would mind, before stepping out of her shop to do so.

She phoned 999 at 3.42pm but police arrived at 4.44pm after the call handler downgraded the call to a non-emergency.

Miss Braiden said officers later said they believed it was a hoax when she called on the May 5 bank holiday Monday last year.

She said: "The call handler told me it would take up to 55 minutes. I said I cannot hold him here.

"I think I thought they would be here in maximum 15 minutes.

"Then I came back and asked him if he wanted a drink. So I went next door and said, 'don't ask, but can I please have a bottle of water'.

"I did not raise the alarm to anyone else [on the seafront] because they would have panicked, so I did not say anything to anyone. It would have made the situation worse.

"I gave him the water and then we sat chatting.

"I closed the top door. I had my truncheon, given to me by a trusty police officer, and a screamer alarm."

She took notes as Randel-Hanson discussed his relationship with Mr Marney and other parts of his life.

Two police officers took Randel-Hanson away then officers went around to his flat in Vernon Terrace and found Mr Marney's body on the kitchen floor.

Miss Braiden recalled how she then got a coffee and went back to work.

She said: "My friend said, 'are you alright,' and I said, 'I don't know really. I don't want to talk about it but there has just been a really odd thing'."

"The next person to arrive was CID to say they had found the body.

"I told him, 'I knew you would'."

She said she did not feel threatened by the murderer and felt it was her "duty" to keep him there until police arrived.

Last week Randel-Hanson was jailed for life with a minimum of 15 years after being convicted of murder after a two-week trial at Croydon Crown Court.

‘I KNEW I HAD TO KEEP HIM THERE – IT WAS MY DUTY’

The Argus: Star Randel-HansonStar Randel-HansonKILLER: Star Randel-Hanson

IT WAS when Jayne Braiden reached the devil that Star Randel-Hanson broke down in tears.  For ten days he had been going about life as the corpse of his housemate lay on his kitchen floor.

He had wanted to get it off his chest – turning up at Hove police station one day but finding it closed. 

Now the ten cards – including justice and death – that he picked from 51 stared back at him from the small wooden table in the seafront tarot shop.  Tarot reader Miss Braiden started going through them. .

First there was the falling tower. Two people falling out. A bad row.  Then there was the emperor. A dominant male.  And third, the devil.  He could no longer hold back. 

“It’s terrible. I killed him,” he blurted out amid tears.  A tarot reader for 25 years, Miss Braiden has seen it all.

Marital problems, secrets, troubles: people confide in her all kinds of things.

But until now, never a murder.  Having cast her eye at all ten cards, she could see before his confession where things were going. 

“I saw the sentence at the end so I knew it was something he would be put away for,” she recalled.  Yet even as the confession tumbled out of him, she stayed calm.

“I said to him, ‘you do understand that I need to call the police. Is that ok with you?’,” she recalled. “And he said yes.”

She stepped outside to dial 999 on a seafront packed with families enjoying the bank holiday. 

“I have a man in my shop,” she told the operator. “And I know it is going to be hard to believe but I have just seen that he has murdered someone.”

The reply: “OK, it’s not a 999 call I am afraid. It is a 101 [the non-emergency number] call.”

Miss Braiden wasn’t defeated. She stressed the killer in her shop had confessed and the body had not yet been found.

She was told someone would be there within an hour.  Miss Braiden went next door and got a bottle of water.  She didn’t say a word about the killer in her shop. 

“I wanted to keep it calm,” she said.  “There were loads of children – it was a family day on the seaside. 

“Me going out there screaming would not have helped anybody.”

Many people would have just run away.  But Miss Braiden thought: “I didn’t want him to go because that would not have been fair to the man who died.” 

So she went back inside and gave him the water.  They sat talking at her table. About one foot between them. She took notes. 

“I asked him the name of the deceased, where he had worked, Derick’s friends,” she recalled. 

“Where the wound was, where the knife was. He was getting upset and started crying.”

The Argus: Derick MarneyDerick MarneyVICTIM: Derick Marney

Randel-Hanson’s trial later heard how he and Mr Marney, 70, met at a spiritualist church in Brighton.  A year later Mr Marney invited him to move into his flat in Vernon Terrace “for company”.  Randel-Hanson claimed Mr Marney had sexually assaulted him three times.

He said he must have stabbed Mr Marney after the older man confronted him while making sandwiches, but denied murder. 

In the tarot shop, Miss Braiden did not ask him about specifics of the crime. She wanted to keep things calm, keeping an eye out for police. 

“I said, ‘if you had gone out there and thrown your bubble gum down or something police would be here in a second,” she recalled. 

“We had a little laugh about it.”

Two police officers arrived more than 50 minutes later and took Randel-Hanson away. 

Miss Braiden was a key witness in court, where she showed the cards he had picked – although the ones about justice were kept from jurors.  It was in court she first became aware of the brutality of Randel-Hanson’s attack. 

She says despite their rapport, she has no sympathy for him. 

“I formed a rapport because I had to,” she said.  “I knew what I was doing. I knew that I had to keep him there. I knew that it was my duty as well.  “And I am big on duty. I can let petty things go – but that is duty.”

FROM GAME TO MEANS OF DIVINATION

TAROT readers claim to use cards to gain an insight into people’s pasts and futures. 

The tarot is a pack of typically 78 cards (although sometimes less are used), categorised as Major and Minor Arcana – greater and lesser secrets. 

The 22 Major Arcana cards depict images such as the devil, hanging man, justice, death and swords.  Minor Arcana feature symbols such as wands, swords, cups and pentacles.

The cards represent different emotions, fates, archetypes, or characteristics used, with the prospect that whatever is dealt will reveal something about the person to whom they are dealt. 

Tarot readers can typically give open readings – where they make a general assessment about the person’s life – or readings that answer a specific question such as: ‘Should I get married?’ or ‘Should I leave my job?’ 

Tarot cards were originally used in 14th century Italy for playing games. 

Their use in divination can be traced back to as early as the 16th century but more strongly in the 18th century, when Giacomo Casanova wrote in his diary that his Russian mistress frequently used playing cards for divination.

Some tarot readers say they should be read as a guide rather than a straightforward prediction of the future, and can help people solve problems in their lives. 

The historic practice has persisted well into modernity, with tarot shops dotting high streets up and down the country.