A MAN accused of murdering his boss will be called back to court next month to enter a plea after he did not turn up to a hearing.

David Browning was due to appear at Hove Crown Court yesterday to face allegations he stabbed Jillian Howell to death.

Ms Howell, 46, was found dead at her home in Sandgate Road, Brighton, on Thursday.

She was Browning’s boss in the payroll department at the University of Brighton. Browning, 51, was remanded in custody after a hearing at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday to appear before a judge yesterday, but was not brought before court.

Oliver Dunkin, prosecuting, told Hove Crown Court: “He has not been brought to this court today,” describing it as “extraordinary”, given he had appeared before magistrates 24 hours before.

As well as facing a charge of murder Browning, of Willow Drive, Seaford, is also charged with possession of a bladed article.

Judge Christine Laing QC said she was going to find out why he had not been brought to court and ordered that the defendant must be produced at a hearing on November 21, where he will be asked to enter a plea.

On Monday a spokesman for the university paid tribute to Ms Howell and confirmed she was Browning’s boss.

He said: “Jill was a much-loved and highly respected colleague. She will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

The family of the Samaritans volunteer and Brighton and Hove Albion season ticket holder described her as “kind”, “gentle” and “loving”.

In a statement, they added: “We are shocked and heartbroken by her loss.

“She lived life to the fullest and was dearly loved by her friends and family.”

Ms Howell worked in payroll across Sussex, including at the Cats Protection in Chelwood Gate and later at Palmer and Harvey in Hove. She also worked for Nannytax in Queen’s Road, Brighton.

Helen Harvey and Rachael Birch, friends and colleagues at the payroll service company, joined those paying tribute to her yesterday. They said: “She was a dear friend and colleague. All of us are deeply shocked and saddened that our dear friend has been so cruelly taken from us, she will be deeply missed. She was so full of life, supported her friends through tough times and always had a beautiful smile.”