Man pleads guilty to killing of Ipswich grandfather nearly four years ago

Rhys Burroughs, 35, previously of Colchester Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Clive Wyard in 2018.

Rhys Burroughs, 35, previously of Colchester Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Clive Wyard in 2018. - Credit: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

A 35-year-old man has admitted the manslaughter of a retired Felixstowe dock worker who was found collapsed outside his Ipswich home nearly four years ago.

Before Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday (May 31) for a plea hearing via a prison video link was Rhys Burroughs, formerly of Colchester Road, Ipswich.

At an earlier hearing, he denied murdering 74-year-old Clive Wyard and an offence of manslaughter, but on Tuesday he changed his plea to the manslaughter charge to guilty.  

Clive Wyard

Clive Wyard - Credit: SUPPLIED

He also admitted attempting to rob Mr Wyard.

Christopher Paxton QC, prosecuting, said the pleas to manslaughter and attempted robbery were acceptable and there was no need for a trial on the murder charge.

The court heard that Burroughs has 43 previous convictions and is currently serving a prison sentence with a current release date in November this year.

Mr Paxton said Burroughs was jailed for eight years in April 2019 for robbing an elderly woman and an offence of burglary.

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Judge Martyn Levett adjourned sentencing until September 5 for a report by the probation service to consider if Burroughs should be regarded as a dangerous offender.

He warned Burroughs he was facing a "very long prison sentence".

The court heard that Mr Wyard was found collapsed on his driveway, in Valley Road, at 7.15am on Friday, July 20, 2018.

The retired Felixstowe dock worker was taken to Ipswich Hospital but died 12 days later.

A grandfather of nine, Mr Wyard had left the Royal George pub shortly after midnight on July 20, 2018, and made the 20-minute walk to his home in Valley Road near the junction of Westerfield Road.

He suffered injuries to his head and face, including black eyes, a cut lip, a deep cut to his cheek, and other cuts to his body.

A post mortem examination found that Mr Wyard died as a result of a severe head injury, having sustained a skull fracture and a bleed on the brain.