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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 August, 2003, 12:57 GMT 13:57 UK
Mugger convicted of manslaughter
Juanito Chudley
The court was told about Chudley's past drugs offences
A 21-year-old heroin addict from Bristol has been found guilty of the manslaughter of an 86-year-old woman.

A jury at Bristol Crown Court took four hours to find Juanito Chudley, of Southmead, guilty by majority of manslaughter and robbery.

Joyce Bryant died after being mugged in Kingsdown, Bristol, in September 2002.

Chudley will be sentenced later along with Sarah Drew, 19, of no fixed abode, who has already pleaded guilty to the same offences.

During the trial Bristol Crown Court heard how Drew and Chudley robbed Mrs Bryant of her handbag, which contained just 5, to feed a heroin addiction.

Mrs Bryant fell during the robbery, rolling down a steep hill and breaking her hip. She died in hospital days later.

Joyce Bryant
Mrs Bryant died two weeks after the attack

Her daughter and son-in-law sat through the trial.

After the verdict, son-in-law Paul Brown said: "It's a shame that people so young are now going to be committed to prison for an offence which started out as a simple robbery and had such drastic consequences."

Earlier in the trial, the jury was shown CCTV footage of Mrs Bryant being robbed and two people running away from the scene.

Chudley had denied the charges, saying he had been with Drew but was not involved in the robbery.

But the jury - who had been told of Chudley's previous convictions for dishonesty, motor offences and drugs offences - decided that in a joint enterprise to fund drugs, the pair decided to rob Mrs Bryant of her handbag.

After the trial, Det Supt Trevor Simpson of Avon and Somerset Police said since the attack on Mrs Bryant street crime in central Bristol had been reduced by almost 40%.

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27 Feb 03  |  England

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