Man in court over pensioner murder

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A 22-year-old man has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with the murder of an elderly man in the early hours of Christmas Day.

The body of Bernard James Smith, known locally as Jim, was discovered at the junction of Shakespeare Road and Wordsworth Avenue on the Highfields estate in Stafford at around 12.50am on Wednesday.

A post-mortem examination revealed 83-year-old Mr Smith died as a result of multiple chest injuries.

Staffordshire Police said Joseph Nicholas Moscicki, 22, from Little Acres, Gorse Ride North, Finchampstead, in Wokingham, was arrested shortly after the discovery of Mr Smith's body.

He was last night charged with murder and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.

After a brief appearance at Cannock Magistrate's Court this morning he was remanded in custody to appear at Stafford Crown Court on Monday.

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 fatally injured.

His nieces have spoken of their grief at his death.

In a statement released through Staffordshire Police they 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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