Brown texted murdered Debbie Levey: “I hope you die”

Debbie Levey, East Ashling murder victim
Debbie Levey, East Ashling murder victim

A BUBBLY, glamorous mother tearfully told friends she had thought 2013 would be ‘her year’, just days before she was killed.

Debbie Levey, 44, of Cherry Tree Cottage, East Ashling, was found dead at her home early on Monday, January 28, 2012. A postmortem concluded she had been smothered and died of asphyxia.

Her ex-lover Phillip Brown was charged with her murder in May, 2013.

The care manager was allegedly subjected to ‘extreme’ abuse by text from the driver, who is in his mid 40s from Selsey, after she broke up with him in November, 2012.

A witness said he even messaged her before she was due to have a hysterectomy later that month, saying: “When you have your hysterectomy I hope you die.”

The lengthy abuse culminated in him making a false complaint to her employers that she had been drunk at work and caused the death of a patient.

She tearfully told colleagues: “I thought 2013 was going to be my year. How wrong was I?”

She had returned to work on Monday, January 21, after her sick leave from the operation.

Giving evidence at Lewes Crown Court today (January 9, 2014), her friend of more than 20 years Lynne Johnson said Ms Levey had received numerous abusive and frightening messages from Brown.

“The one that really sticks in my mind is when he threatened to lose her job for her and he was going to ‘destroy her the way she had destroyed him’,” she told the court.

After receiving this text on December 27, 2012, Ms Johnson said her friend had been shaking with worry.

Ms Levey’s colleague at the Leaholme care home in Gilmore Road, Chichester, Eve Dering, said her manager was ‘extremely upset’ when she returned to work in January.

“Debbie was extremely upset someone that at one point she was in a relationship with would do something this extreme to try to hurt her and try to lose her her job,” she said.

On Thursday, January 24, Ms Levey confronted Brown in her office.

“Debbie felt quite pleased that she had found the confidence to confront Phillip Brown regarding the email,” Ms Dering said.

“She felt she had to draw a line under that, because she was very upset and obviously she just wanted things to be sorted.”

The court heard Brown broke down in tears and said he would send a retraction email.

Ms Dering told the court that on Ms Levey’s last day at Leaholme she had come to work buoyed after having faced her former lover.

“She was very happy, very confident. She was very high in mood,” she said.

Yet later that same day, Brown sent a text to the women he had referred to as his ‘fiance’, saying: “Drink and drugs would be an easy way to go.”

Ms Levey felt Brown was perhaps referring to his own suicide, as he previously sent her pictures of himself self-harming.

Ms Levey was found dead by a colleague around 7.15am on Monday, January 28. She was sat on the sofa covered by a blanket.

Brown denies murdering her and the trial continues. It is expected to last around four weeks.