Stab victim wanted new start

STABBING victim Zak Hockley Brown had been hoping to start afresh and turn his life in a positive direction, his devastated brother said today.Ronnie Brown - the big brother Mr Hockley Brown looked up to - said he and his sisters had high hopes for their young sibling following his release from jail.

STABBING victim Zak Hockley Brown had been hoping to start afresh and turn his life in a positive direction, his devastated brother said today.

Ronnie Brown - the big brother Mr Hockley Brown looked up to - said he and his sisters had high hopes for their young sibling following his release from jail.

But just three weeks after that release Mr Hockley Brown died from a stab wound.

Today, speaking publicly for the first time since the Ipswich 21-year-old's death, Mr Brown said: “We were all very close.


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“It's tragic what's happened. It's hurt us all.”

Ronnie, 29, Claire, 27, and Suzzane, 26, were Mr Hockley Brown's half-brother and half-sisters but their special bond which developed after tragedies during their childhood made them feel as strongly connected as any siblings sharing both parents.

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Mr Hockley Brown's dad Don raised Ronnie, Claire and Suzzane like his own children after he met their mum Sharon.

Mr Hockley Brown was then born and the four siblings became forever close.

When Don died from a drug overdose, it was the beginning of a spate of tragedies which the former Ranelagh Primary School pupil encountered as a youngster.

Mr Brown said: “He had problems because he had a tragic upbringing.

"His dad died of a drug overdose when Zak was ten. At the age of 15 he lost his mum.

"He was brilliant at football but he lost his football dream because he tore a ligament in his left knee. That was a big blow to him.

"He had wanted to become a professional footballer. He always wanted to play for Liverpool."

Even though Mr Hockley Brown had spent time in prison, his family was confident he was going to start afresh after his release.

He had showed promise in jail by completing a painting and decorating course and had attended several job interviews in the short space of time since his release.

But on September 10 he died after being stabbed in Trinity Walk, Stowupland, just two hours after Mr Brown last spoke to him.

ZAK Hockley Brown's death has left his brother and sisters wondering what might have been and wishing their brother could have had another chance at life after prison.

“He came out and everyone was so proud of him because he took the painting and decorating course whilst in prison," his older brother Ronnie Brown said.

“He was going to come up to see us in Scotland.”

Mr Brown remembered his brother as “a cheeky chappy”.

“He was very popular. He was a little charmer.

“He looked up to me something rotten. Both me and Claire had an awful lot to do with him.

“And my sister Suzzanne was also very close because they were the youngest.”

Now Mr Hockley Brown's family are left remembering the better times in his life following his funeral on Thursday.

“We share the memories with each other," Mr Brown said.

“We had a large wake at the Margaret Catchpole pub after his funeral. It was excellent. Everyone was catching up and talking about Zak and Zak's life, what he could have had and what he's missed out on.

“Every time I walk in the town centre I expect him to come bounding down saying 'what's happening Bruv'.”

Mr Brown lives in Aberdeen where his natural father, Ronald Brown snr, lives. Mr Hockley Brown had spent time in Aberdeen and was hoping to return to spend time with his brother.

Mr Brown, who moved to Scotland from Ipswich in 2001, said: “He wanted to come up that day (September 10). He wanted to spend a week with me and I was going to travel down with him.”

Instead Zak was found dead in a flat in Trinity Walk, Stowupland, in the early hours of September 10.

“He'll be sadly missed,” Mr Brown said.

A Stowmarket man is due to appear in court in December charged with murder following the death of Mr Hockley Brown. Keiran Botterill, 26, of Soames Close, has been remanded in custody to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on December 7.

IN a special tribute to Zak Hockley Brown, his brother and sisters said among those who would remember him and miss him were his cousins Arron, Toni, Nicole, Sinead, Kiera, Ayhan, Mark, Darren, Lara and Lisa, his nephew Kieron and nieces Tyler Lea and Shania, as well as Ronald Brown snr, his aunties Alison, Maria and Joanne and his grandmother Daphne.

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