Family mourn ‘gentle’ pensioner killed at station while going to collect morning paper

‘He didn’t deserve to be attacked in such a brutal way,’ Bernard Fowler’s family say

Barney Davis
Friday 01 March 2024 17:14 GMT

The heartbroken family of a “gentle” pensioner who died after being attacked while going to collect his local paper have said he didn’t deserve to die in such a “brutal way”.

Bernard Fowler, 87, was out on his morning routine of being one of the first to collect his paper at the crack of dawn at Harold Wood railway station on Tuesday.

A murder investigation was launched after a member of staff found Mr Fowler badly injured and lying on the floor outside of the Elizabeth Line station just after 4.30am.

Despite the best efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Miles Skai, 22, from Brent Cross, in Hendon, has been charged with murder.

The Fowler family said in a statement: “Bernie was a dearly loved brother, father and grandfather who had been living in the area for over 20 years.

“He was a quiet, gentle man who lived alone but who, over the years, had helped many of the residents in his local community.

“The family are devastated by the news of his death; He didn’t deserve to be attacked in such a brutal way just going out to get his local paper.

“We ask that people respect our privacy at this time.”

Charmaine Tonks told The Independent that the pensioner, known affectionately as “Bernie”, was a very close friend of her late father.

She said: “He always used to get the free paper from the station early each morning,

“I’ll always remember his smile, I thought he was a lovely man.

“It is a massive shock for anyone to reach such an age and to have your life taken in such a horrific way. It is absolutely despicable.”

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Sam Painter said: “My thoughts remain with Mr Fowler’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.

“We will continue to carry out high visibility patrols in the area alongside our colleagues at the Metropolitan Police to provide visible reassurance to the community after this shocking incident.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to text BTP on 61016 or call 0800 40 50 40, quoting reference 53 of 27/02/24.

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