Courageous mum of murder victim dies of cancer

THE mother of a young man who was killed after trying to break up a fight has died of cancer without seeing her son’s killer brought to justice.

Frances Morris died last Saturday morning, more than 11 years after her son Karl Morris had his life support machine switched off at West Suffolk Hospital.

Mrs Morris, 59, of Great Cornard, who worked for more than 20 years at Somerfield Supermarket in Sudbury, died from an aggressive form of cancer. In the last month of her life she stopped hospital treatment to be nursed at home until her death.

Her 23-year-old son died from head injuries he received when he tried to break up a fight in a pub car park on Good Friday, April 2, 1999.

Emma Dye, services trading manager Somerfield, paid tribute to Mrs Morris with whom she worked at the store for more than 18 years.

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Mrs Dye said: “She was a wonderful, courageous, generous and warm-hearted woman. Speaking on behalf of everyone who works here and our customers, we are all going to miss her terribly.

“You could hear her laughing throughout the day and everyone who met her or was served by her felt better for it. It’s a great loss for everyone and even now we still have people coming in asking where she is.

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“She suffered such a terrible tragedy and part of her was lost when Karl died. I don’t know how anyone can get through something like that but Frances showed great courage and carried on until the end.”

A service for Frances Morris will take place at The Stevenson Centre, on Friday July 2, at 11am. Friends and family are welcome.

Karl Morris, 23, above, was on a day out with friends at the Queens Arms pub in Great Cornard on Good Friday, April 2, 1999, when the fatal incident happened.

He was enjoying a televised Bank Holiday football match involving his beloved Manchester United when an argument broke out between two groups of friends.

When the disagreement spilled into the pub car park Mr Morris suffered horrific head injuries as he stepped in to try to break up the fight.

His mother was holding his hand when he died from his injuries the following day at West Suffolk Hospital.

In an interview with the East Anglian Daily Times five years later, Mrs Morris said: “How long do we have to wait for justice? It has now been five years, but the memories of my son laying on his death bed are still vivid and is something I can never forget.”

A month after his murder, Suffolk police named Stephen Mackay, 28 at the time and a former Green Jacket infantryman, as the man they wanted to question in connection with Karl’s death.

Despite numerous appeals –- including features on Crimewatch UK, poster campaigns, cash rewards and more than 250 lines of inquiry followed up by police – Mr Mackay has never been tracked down.

Mr Mackay, now aged 39, served in Northern Ireland and Germany before returning home to the Sudbury area where he grew up. His last known address was Eldred Drive, Great Cornard.

In April 2007 Det Insp Stuart McCallum of Suffolk police gave a personal pledge to the Morris family that Karl’s killer would be found and justice would triumph.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mr Mackay or has any information about the murder should call police on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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