THE DAUGHTER of a murdered woman has described her sense of dread after receiving a text message from the man who killed her.

Lauren Brown received a message from Wayne Morris, her mother's partner, about her mum Ruth Brown in Bognor.

The message read: “Hi princess, you know I love you. Not in a very good situation at the moment but I think you need to get the police around to your mums, because she is not in a very good way. I didn’t mean to do anything, I’m leaving Bognor. I’m turning my phone off.”

Morris, 47, a binman, had been staying with Ruth, 52, at her home in Collyer Avenue during the first coronavirus lockdown in April 2020.

He battered her to death with a plastic tray while drunk in a “ferocious” attack, and claimed he had no memory of the incident.

The Argus: Bognor murder: The scene in Collyer Avenue in April 2020Bognor murder: The scene in Collyer Avenue in April 2020

But Morris moved her body from her kitchen to her bedroom, mopped up and tidied up, then after spending a day with his daughter, he went on the run to the Isle of Wight.

At Brighton Crown Court, he was jailed for life. He was told to serve a minimum of 17 years before he can be considered for parole.

The Argus: Wayne Morris murdered Ruth Brown in BognorWayne Morris murdered Ruth Brown in Bognor

After getting the text message from Morris, Lauren went with her partner Samuel Hunter to Ruth’s home, the murder scene.

“Nothing could have prepared me for what I would find,” she said. “The second I read the text message from Wayne Morris, my stomach dropped, the air was sucked out of my lungs with fear and panic.

“I hoped for the best, I feared for the worst. But I knew.”

She was the first person to step into the property and said: “Something was not right. Something stopped me from going upstairs. I’m so thankful I never saw her lifeless body.”

It was her partner who found the body, and Lauren ran from the property screaming.

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Her son Arran Brown also gave a statement and said it was the “most distressing, traumatic and disabling thing” that could happen. He said: “My mum did not deserve this at all.

“This was in no way her time to go, she did not deserve to be taken from us.

“I don’t feel Wayne Morris is sorry at all. Whether he has no recollection at all, when hearing his statements read out, I don’t think he is in any way sorry.

“He made a joke while being questioned. I personally think that is just sickening, making sarcastic remarks and saying it was because he was nervous. Maybe it is because she is my mum (that I feel that way), and that I actually loved her.”

The Argus: 'Not sorry'- killer Wayne Morris has been jailed for life over the Bognor murder'Not sorry'- killer Wayne Morris has been jailed for life over the Bognor murder

They both also paid tribute to their mother. Arran said he is still struggling to process what happened.

“She will not be able to see me grow up and be there for the family who loved her. I had no chance to properly say goodbye again and properly tell her I love her one more time.

“Nothing can prepare you for losing someone in that way.”

Lauren said: “She was a fighter and always stood up for herself. She always did what she thought was right for her family and her friends. She would have taken on the world for us.

“Why didn’t she win this one?

The Argus: Ruth Brown was murdered in BognorRuth Brown was murdered in Bognor

“We all still need her, there will be a huge gap in our lives. She was my rock. It is only now that I realise she was my best friend. That is something I will never get to tell her.

“She was the centre of the family. I don’t know how I’m going to move on from this, I’ve always had my mum, but now a huge piece is missing and there is a hole in my heart that will never be filled. She deserved so much more than she was given.”

Lauren said she also doted on Morris as a second father who had stepped up to help and support her. She had previously referred to him as “Daddy Morris”.

She said she was heartbroken for Ruth not to be around to see Arran starting college or to spend Christmas together.

The Argus: Ruth Brown was described as a vivacious womanRuth Brown was described as a vivacious woman

Ruth was originally from Glasgow and worked at the Claremont Inn in Bognor, where she met Wayne Morris.

Her daughter Lauren was friends with Morris’s daughter Skye Morris, and they became a couple about six years ago.

Morris, of Larch Close, Bognor, has now been jailed over the attack in April 2020.