Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
alert-–-jill-brookes-death:-mystery-man-sought-by-cops-in-new-push-to-solve-violent-bashing-of-second-hand-bookshop-owner-in-2012Alert – Jill Brookes death: Mystery man sought by cops in new push to solve violent bashing of second-hand bookshop owner in 2012

Police are holding out hope they could find the person who severely bashed a Melbourne bookshop owner in 2012, as they release photos of a man they want to speak to.

Jill Brookes was left with serious brain damage and life-threatening injuries after she was bashed and robbed at her second-hand bookshop at Harrington Square at Altona in Melbourne’s southwest about 5pm on July 20 that year.

The then 61-year-old was taken to the Alfred Hospital but never fully recovered from her injuries and ultimately died in March 2021.

‘I have been involved in this investigation for the past 12 years and it’s something that has stayed with me during that time,’ Detective Senior Constable Matthew Noonan said.

‘Jill’s family have never understood why this happened to her and sadly, we have never been in a position to give them the answers despite a significant investigation.

‘Jill suffered life threatening injuries during the assault, and those injuries had an enormous impact on her quality of life up until she died.’

Victoria Police on Saturday issued a fresh appeal to find a man who was seen in the area the day Ms Brookes was bashed.

Police released images of a man (pictured) they want to speak to who was in the Altona area in 2012 when an elderly woman was bashed in her bookshop

Police released images of a man (pictured) they want to speak to who was in the Altona area in 2012 when an elderly woman was bashed in her bookshop 

There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to the person responsible for the assault

There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to the person responsible for the assault

There was nothing to suggest the man was involved in the bookshop owner’s attack but police have never been able to identify him and want to see whether he has anything to offer the investigation, officers said.

The man was seen at Altona railway station about 3.25pm on July 20, before he boarded a train and arrived at Westona railway station about five minutes later.

Police also believe he was seen walking down Maidstone St at Altona about 3.30pm that day.

Detectives have repeatedly pleaded for the community’s help to find Ms Brookes’ attacker but to no avail.

In 2014, they put up a $100,000 reward for information leading them to her assailant.

Jill Brookes (pictured) was left with serious brain damage and life-threatening injuries after she was bashed and robbed at her second-hand bookshop

Jill Brookes (pictured) was left with serious brain damage and life-threatening injuries after she was bashed and robbed at her second-hand bookshop 

A decade later, they still believe a man who dropped a letter into Altona North police station’s mail box in May 2013 is key to the investigation.

However, the man never came forward to speak to police.

The letter contained a newspaper clipping about the case and a note written with letters cut from the paper.

Police had combed through countless hours of CCTV and followed up hundreds of reports over the years in the hope of finding the person who bashed Ms Brookes, Det Sen Const Noonan said.

‘We’re hopeful that this man (in the CCTV) may be able to provide us with new lines of enquiry,’ he said.

‘I understand that a significant amount of time has passed, however we are still hopeful that this case can be solved.

‘All we need is the right piece of information from the right person.’

Police urged anyone with information to contact them.

The $100,000 reward remains on offer.

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