Burglar who brutally murdered 87-year-old war veteran in his own house jailed for 33 years
Arthur Gumbley, 87, was brutally beaten by Jason Wilsher, 20, after he and another burglar broke into his house in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
A burglar has been jailed for a minimum of 33 years after he murdered an 87-year-old pensioner in his own home.
Arthur Gumbley was brutally beaten by Jason Wilsher, 20, after he broke into his house in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, Mirror reports. While Gumbley, also known as Bob, was found in a pool of his own blood after the attack, the killer was caught after his DNA was found at the scene of the crime on November 21, 2017. The victim died in hospital three weeks after he was repeatedly punched and kicked by Wilsher, who was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 33 years on Friday.
At the time, Gumbley told detectives he had heard noises and was confronted by two men in his hallway. The men then allegedly proceeded to ransack his home as he lay injured and fled with expensive gold and silver jewelry, cash and a purse belonging to Gumbley's late wife. Furthermore, his skin tore after a watch was violently pulled from his wrist.
Gumbley, who ran his own plumbing merchants business for over fifty years after serving in the military, was able to contact his daughter right after the ordeal, who then summoned authorities to the address.
Gumbley's injuries were made public by Staffordshire Police. According to footage shared by cops, the pensioner was seen all bloodied and bruised from the brutal attack. Police learned he was confronted by the two men and punched in the face, knocking him out cold.
A pathologist told the court that Gumbley died of blunt force injuries resulting in cardiomegaly and other cardiac issues as a direct consequence of the ordeal. Wilsher's DNA was later found on a drawer handle in Gumbley's room, leading to his conviction for murder on Thursday.
The 20-year-old killer was reportedly also part of a group which attacked another senior citizen, Dennis Taylor, at his Derbyshire residence just days after targeting Gumbley. It was later revealed that Taylor was hit with a baseball bat and had a knife pushed through his lips.
In connection with the attack on Taylor on November 25, 2017, Wilsher was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery before being handed a 16-year sentence to run concurrently.
After Wilsher's conviction on Thursday, Lead Investigator DCI Dan Ison said: “I am pleased that the jury has returned this verdict, but our first thoughts are with Arthur and his family. This was a planned and totally unnecessary attack on an 87-year-old man in his own home. The injuries sustained by Arthur were brutal and horrific. Arthur had his eye blacked and his arms were covered in bruising. He also suffered a number of fractured ribs likely to have been caused from a fall or a blow.”
Ison attributed the break in the case to "good old-fashioned policing", saying detectives "worked meticulously and doggedly" to trace the getaway car and were able to identify Wilsher as a suspect after going through hours of CCTV, phone records, and questioning.
“It was months of hard work that identified him and it is startling that the science of DNA proves effectively Wilsher is the only man in Europe who could've contributed to the sample found at Arthur's home," he added. "The investigation into the outstanding individuals responsible for Arthur's death continues."
Gumbley's daughters Sue and Sandra and son Michael eulogized their father at his funeral, applauding his "steel-strong" moral compass. The 87-year-old veteran was buried next to his wife who died in 2005, and his son Robert, who lost his life in a tragic motorcycle accident when he was just 16.
"They all had very good words to say about dad," Sue said of the funeral. "People from 40 years ago told us how dad always helped them. He could be a strict father. He taught us to work hard and if you worked hard you would get something in life. If you couldn't afford it, you didn't have it - that's what dad told us. No matter what, you always paid your debt."