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22-year-old charged with murder following the death of 83-year-old Bernard James Smith in Stafford on Christmas Day

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 27, 2013

By Robin Scott


A YOUNG man has been charged with murder this evening following the death of 83-year-old Bernard James Smith in the early hours of Christmas Day in Highfield.

Staffordshire Police announced they had charged 22-year-old Joseph Nicholas Moscicki from Little Acres, Gorse Ride North, Finchampstead in Wokingham with murder and failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis. He will remain in police custody until Saturday morning when he will appear at Cannock Magistrates court.

Police launched a detailed investigation into the death of Mr Smith (known locally as Jim) from Shakespeare Road, Stafford after an incident which occurred at the junction of Shakespeare Road and Wordsworth Avenue, on Stafford's Highfields estate, at around 12.50 am on Wednesday 25 December.

A post-mortem examination which concluded this evening established the cause of Mr Smith's death was multiple chest injuries.

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Detective Chief Inspector Darren Harding from the Staffordshire Police Major Investigations Department said “We have been working throughout the Christmas period to investigate the tragic death of Mr Smith.

"Specially trained family liaison officers continue to support the family of Mr Smith and we want to thank those affected for their support and cooperation at this particularly difficult time.”

Earlier today, Mr Smith’s nieces released the following statement via Staffordshire Police:

“The family are finding it extremely difficult at this time but we would just like to say that our uncle Jim was very independent and enjoyed regular visits to the Highfields Social Club where he met his friends on a daily basis.”