Man in court charged with murder of Plymouth pensioner
A MAN has today appeared in court charged with the murder of pensioner Michael Brincat.
Brian Short, aged 52, faced Plymouth magistrates accused of killing the 76-year-old.
Short, wearing a blue shirt and with short grey hair and glasses, spoke only to confirm his name and address and was remanded in custody. He will appear again at crown court on Wednesday.
As he was taken down there were shouts of "We love you Brian" from his family and friends in a packed public gallery.
The body of Mr Brincat, known as 'Maltese Mike', was found at his Devonport flat last Wednesday. A post-mortem examination found he had been asphyxiated.
He was last seen alive at his home in Marlborough House, Granby Way, the day before.
Short, from Devonport, was arrested early on Friday.
He was questioned by police over the weekend and charged with Mr Brincat's murder on Saturday night.
Short was held in custody until his appearance at Plymouth Magistrates' Court.
Mr Brincat's family has paid tribute to the well-known Devonport character, who had difficulty getting around.
Mr Brincat, who was from Malta, had two brothers and two sisters, plus his stepsister Evelyn Attard, from his mother's first marriage.
Miss Attard, aged 86, told The Herald: "He was a kind person. He helped everybody that he could. If he saw a man in the street he would buy him coffee."
His family remembers that Mr Brincat served in the merchant navy and was awarded a medal for service during the Suez crisis in the 1950s.
He was said by residents to be partially-sighted and a frequent visitor to the bookmakers on the corner of Marlborough Street.