Remembering Karl

By Patrick LowmanFIVE years ago Frances Morris sat in floods of tears, clutching the hand of her son as he lay dying in a hospital bed.Karl Morris died at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, after suffering horrific head injuries when he tried to break up a fight the night before.

By Patrick Lowman

FIVE years ago Frances Morris sat in floods of tears, clutching the hand of her son as he lay dying in a hospital bed.

Karl Morris died at the West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, after suffering horrific head injuries when he tried to break up a fight the night before.

Those precious hours at the hospital were the last time mother and son spent time together, and the vision of the 23-year-old's limp and lifeless body continues to haunt her to this day.


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The fact that no-one has been brought to justice for Karl's murder only adds to his mother's immense grief and frustration.

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of her son's death, Mrs Morris has made yet another appeal to the public for information about the murder and about the whereabouts of former soldier Stephen Mackay, the man whom police have said they would want to interview over the murder.

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Mrs Morris made her plea as the East Anglian Daily Times and Suffolk police agreed to double their initial £1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Karl's murder.

The money will be added to the £2,000 that has already been raised by Mrs Morris, bringing the total reward to £4,000.

"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," said Mrs Morris.

"The pain of sitting helpless and watching your son die is horrendous. Although nothing can ever bring Karl back or compensate for his death, we need to draw a conclusion to the case.

"We just want everything over and done with so all of Karl's family can just get on with our lives and grieve in our own way without having to worry about everything else surrounding the case."

Karl was seriously injured when he tried to break-up a fight involving some of his friends outside the Queens Arms pub in Great Cornard on April 2, 1999, and he died the following day in West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

"Although time is a great healer, life will never be the same again, there is always somebody missing," said Mrs Morris.

"Every Christmas, birthday or celebration we always miss Karl. We recently had Mother's Day, but that just isn't the same anymore.

"I am not hateful or vengeful because Karl wouldn't want that, he was so kind a caring he would never think that way."

Karl lived with his mother in Abbas Walk, Great Cornard and the couple shared a close relationship.

The last time she saw Karl alive was the night before the incident that led to his death. On that occasion he left the house after giving his mother a kiss and a cuddle, a moment Mrs Morris now treasures.

"That was such a fitting way for us to say goodbye because that is what we were all about. Karl was a very loving son and he always gave me a kiss and cuddle whenever he went anywhere," said Mrs Morris.

"I do miss him so much and although it has been so long, I haven't given up hope of justice. I would just like to appeal to the people who know where Mr Mackay is to make a phone call in confidence.

"We have suffered enough and we just want to bring closure to the case to allow us some peace of mind."

Karl also enjoyed a close relationship with his extended family who live in Kirkby Cross, near Frinton. He spent every weekend visiting his father, Peter, his stepmother, Maureen, and her children, Robert and Charlene.

His stepmother said: "Obviously we are very grateful the award has been increased and we hope it might persuade someone to come forward.

"We will never get over losing Karl - it has destroyed all our lives. We do try to get on with life, but it is very difficult because we know Karl is never coming back.

"We all loved him so much and his father finds it very difficult to accept. Charlene was very close to Karl and took his death very hard. It has also had a big affect on Robert, he will never go to pubs or clubs because of what happened. We are all still very bitter."

Detective Inspector Stuart McCallum, who is leading the investigation into Karl's murder, said he hoped the £4,000 reward would encourage people to come forward with information.

"This case remains very much open and local people can still play an important role in helping us by getting in touch if they have any information on the whereabouts of Mr Mackay," he added.

Anyone with information should contact Sudbury police on 01284 774300 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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