Funeral hears of heartache in community for murder victim

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Patricia's brother has been charged with her murder

By Jonathan McCambridge (PA)

The funeral of murder victim Patricia Aust has heard that her death has caused “deep shock and heartache” across her local community.

Rev Mark Johnston told a service of thanksgiving at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Bangor that retired teacher and grandmother Ms Aust, known as Patsy, loved children.

The body of Ms Aust, 81, was discovered in a house in the Hawthorne Court area of Bangor earlier this month.

Ms Aust’s brother, 85-year-old Jim Moore of Clandeboye Place in Bangor, has appeared in court charged with her murder.

No details surrounding the death were disclosed when Moore appeared in Newtownards Magistrates’ Court last week.

Delivering his tribute to Ms Aust at the service, Rev Johnston made several references to her close bond with her brother.

He told mourners that Ms Aust had been a Sunday school teacher in the same church in which he was speaking.

He said she was born Patricia Ann Moore, grew up in Bangor and later trained to be a teacher.

He said: “She loved to travel, and taught in a secondary school in Malta, and lived in Palma, Majorca, where (her son) Garreth was born.”

Rev Johnston said she later returned to Northern Ireland and became vice principal of the Lindsey School, attached to Forster Green Hospital.

He said: “Patsy loved children and young people, and especially had a soft spot for children with additional needs.

“She poured her heart and soul into them, seeing that they had every opportunity to grow and flourish.”

He said: “Patsy’s focus in life was raising her son, and in recent years, loving and helping to raise her beloved grandson Brody.

“She gave her all, along with her family, to make sure that Garreth and Brody had everything they needed.

“She lived by that golden rule of Jesus ‘Do to others what you would have them do onto you’ and sought to instil these values of sacrificial love and kindness, respect and gentleness, within the hearts of Garreth and Brody.”

Rev Johnston said Ms Aust’s world was shattered when her son died suddenly last year.

He added: “Over the last nine months, whilst crippled with grief, Patsy, along with her brother Jim, sought to help raise Brody as best they could, ensuring that Brody would be able to cope in this new world without his daddy.

“Patsy relied heavily on the love and support from Jim, and together they worked and served tirelessly in loving and caring for Brody.

“They supported each other through thick and thin, and protected each other day by day, as they had to deal with so much in recent months.

“We very rarely saw Patsy without Jim, and we very rarely saw Jim without Patsy.

“They were a strong duo, committed to each other, committed to Brody, committed to their family and friends across this community.”

He continued: “Sadly and devastatingly, Patsy died two Sundays ago in Garreth’s home.

“Her passing has caused deep shock and heartache to so many across the community.

“For we will miss Patsy so very much, and have benefited greatly from her warmth, her kindness and love, her compassion for others, especially children, and her desire to keep going with deep resilience and fortitude.

“Patsy will be so deeply missed by so many of us, not least Jim and Brody, her family and closest friends, who have loved her to the end.”

A private committal service took place later.

The funeral service of Patricia 'Patsy' Aust at St Andrew Presbyterian Church in Bangor (Photo by PA)

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