Stoke & Staffordshire

Bernard Smith Christmas Day death: Man in court charged with murder

A man has been remanded in custody charged with the murder of an 83-year-old on Christmas Day.

The body of Bernard James Smith was discovered on the Highfields estate in Stafford at around 12:50 GMT on Wednesday.

Joseph Moscicki, 22, from Little Acres, Gorse Ride North, Wokingham, appeared at Cannock Magistrates' Court on Saturday.

He is due to appear at Stafford Crown Court on Monday.

'Very independent'

He is also charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Smith, known locally as Jim, died as a result of multiple chest injuries.

Staffordshire Police said Mr Moscicki was arrested shortly after the discovery of Mr Smith's body, at the junction of Shakespeare Road and Wordsworth Avenue.

It is thought Mr Smith was returning from a night out at a social club to his home in sheltered housing off Shakespeare Road when he was killed.

In a statement released through police Mr Smith's nieces said: "The family are finding it extremely difficult at this time but we would just like to say that our uncle Jim was very independent and enjoyed regular visits to the Highfields Social Club where he met his friends on a daily basis."

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