Murder victim struggled financially

News Nov 18, 2014 by Mike Peeling Brant News

Before his stabbing death in October 2011, Douglas Howard Hendsbee worked hard but struggled to support his family after being forced into early retirement.

A clearer image of the 67-year-old Brantford resident started to emerge Monday during the opening of William Russell Morris' first-degree murder trial.

The victim of a fatal stab wound to the heart, found Oct. 22, 2011, lived in the north end of the city with two of his grandchildren and wife of 46 years, Anne.

Douglas had to leave his long-term job as a maintenance millwright when the factory he worked in was shut down.

"He was extremely gifted," Anne Hendsbee told the court when questioned by assistant Crown attorney Larry Brock. "He could fix anything. He would fix anything for anyone."

Anne said her husband spent much of his time doing odd jobs, and sometimes big renovations, for people he knew from church and anyone else who needed his services.

She explained that her husband was the family breadwinner and financial manager, but didn't always make sure he got paid.

"Sometimes he got paid and sometimes he got cheated," Anne said. "We were struggling. Our grandkids were in a lot of extracurricular activities. Doug was not a great money manager, but he did have a great work ethic."

Anne had left a full-time job of 20 years to home school the two grandchildren through much of their youth.

Anne said her husband "absolutely loved his family" and was dedicated to his grandchildren.

The granddaughter who lived with them, now 19, later testified that her grandfather would grumble about the need to spend more money, but always found a way to buy the family what they needed. She said money was clearly a source of tension between her grandparents, but never witnessed a loud argument over the issue.

Douglas was a deacon at the family's church and helped with back-to-school and outreach programs.

Anne didn't know a lot about the outreach program her husband helped with at Slovak Village, where Douglas' dead body was found, but she said she did know it was "clear across town" and that he attended the apartment building regularly.

Douglas fixed small appliances for residents of Slovak Village and three other locations in Brantford, explained Anne, but he also gave car rides to those in need.

She said he "probably charged" for driving people in town and outside the city to places such as Kitchener and Mississauga.

Under cross examination by defense lawyer Andrew Perrin, Anne said her husband's self-esteem had suffered when he was forced to retire, which is what pushed him to stay busy helping others by doing odd jobs.

"If church goers called for help, he was there," Anne told the court. "He was still there helping and that was important."

Douglas had suffered a lot of hearing loss, so his cellphone was set to ring loudly and would sometimes disrupt church services. Anne said he would grin whenever she gave him a disapproving look.

Perrin asked, "Did it make you wonder why he had to have it on in church?"

Anne agreed with Perrin's suggestion that her husband had discouraged her from asking who was calling him.

She later told Perrin it didn't concern her that she didn't know the clients of her husband's taxi service.

Perrin revisited the list of vices Brock had went through with Anne as they might apply to her husband.

She told the court Doug did not smoke, take narcotics or drink, except for the occasional beer.

Perrin asked if Doug had a vice for extramarital sex.

"It was mentioned to me," Anne said about an indication the police gave her during the investigation into Doug's death.

"Were you not told he might have received sexual favours instead of money?" Perrin said.

Anne said she doesn't believe her husband had extramarital affairs.

Murder victim struggled financially

William Morris on trial for murder of Douglas Hendsbee

News Nov 18, 2014 by Mike Peeling Brant News

Before his stabbing death in October 2011, Douglas Howard Hendsbee worked hard but struggled to support his family after being forced into early retirement.

A clearer image of the 67-year-old Brantford resident started to emerge Monday during the opening of William Russell Morris' first-degree murder trial.

The victim of a fatal stab wound to the heart, found Oct. 22, 2011, lived in the north end of the city with two of his grandchildren and wife of 46 years, Anne.

Douglas had to leave his long-term job as a maintenance millwright when the factory he worked in was shut down.

"He was extremely gifted," Anne Hendsbee told the court when questioned by assistant Crown attorney Larry Brock. "He could fix anything. He would fix anything for anyone."

Anne said her husband spent much of his time doing odd jobs, and sometimes big renovations, for people he knew from church and anyone else who needed his services.

She explained that her husband was the family breadwinner and financial manager, but didn't always make sure he got paid.

"Sometimes he got paid and sometimes he got cheated," Anne said. "We were struggling. Our grandkids were in a lot of extracurricular activities. Doug was not a great money manager, but he did have a great work ethic."

Anne had left a full-time job of 20 years to home school the two grandchildren through much of their youth.

Anne said her husband "absolutely loved his family" and was dedicated to his grandchildren.

The granddaughter who lived with them, now 19, later testified that her grandfather would grumble about the need to spend more money, but always found a way to buy the family what they needed. She said money was clearly a source of tension between her grandparents, but never witnessed a loud argument over the issue.

Douglas was a deacon at the family's church and helped with back-to-school and outreach programs.

Anne didn't know a lot about the outreach program her husband helped with at Slovak Village, where Douglas' dead body was found, but she said she did know it was "clear across town" and that he attended the apartment building regularly.

Douglas fixed small appliances for residents of Slovak Village and three other locations in Brantford, explained Anne, but he also gave car rides to those in need.

She said he "probably charged" for driving people in town and outside the city to places such as Kitchener and Mississauga.

Under cross examination by defense lawyer Andrew Perrin, Anne said her husband's self-esteem had suffered when he was forced to retire, which is what pushed him to stay busy helping others by doing odd jobs.

"If church goers called for help, he was there," Anne told the court. "He was still there helping and that was important."

Douglas had suffered a lot of hearing loss, so his cellphone was set to ring loudly and would sometimes disrupt church services. Anne said he would grin whenever she gave him a disapproving look.

Perrin asked, "Did it make you wonder why he had to have it on in church?"

Anne agreed with Perrin's suggestion that her husband had discouraged her from asking who was calling him.

She later told Perrin it didn't concern her that she didn't know the clients of her husband's taxi service.

Perrin revisited the list of vices Brock had went through with Anne as they might apply to her husband.

She told the court Doug did not smoke, take narcotics or drink, except for the occasional beer.

Perrin asked if Doug had a vice for extramarital sex.

"It was mentioned to me," Anne said about an indication the police gave her during the investigation into Doug's death.

"Were you not told he might have received sexual favours instead of money?" Perrin said.

Anne said she doesn't believe her husband had extramarital affairs.

Murder victim struggled financially

William Morris on trial for murder of Douglas Hendsbee

News Nov 18, 2014 by Mike Peeling Brant News

Before his stabbing death in October 2011, Douglas Howard Hendsbee worked hard but struggled to support his family after being forced into early retirement.

A clearer image of the 67-year-old Brantford resident started to emerge Monday during the opening of William Russell Morris' first-degree murder trial.

The victim of a fatal stab wound to the heart, found Oct. 22, 2011, lived in the north end of the city with two of his grandchildren and wife of 46 years, Anne.

Douglas had to leave his long-term job as a maintenance millwright when the factory he worked in was shut down.

"He was extremely gifted," Anne Hendsbee told the court when questioned by assistant Crown attorney Larry Brock. "He could fix anything. He would fix anything for anyone."

Anne said her husband spent much of his time doing odd jobs, and sometimes big renovations, for people he knew from church and anyone else who needed his services.

She explained that her husband was the family breadwinner and financial manager, but didn't always make sure he got paid.

"Sometimes he got paid and sometimes he got cheated," Anne said. "We were struggling. Our grandkids were in a lot of extracurricular activities. Doug was not a great money manager, but he did have a great work ethic."

Anne had left a full-time job of 20 years to home school the two grandchildren through much of their youth.

Anne said her husband "absolutely loved his family" and was dedicated to his grandchildren.

The granddaughter who lived with them, now 19, later testified that her grandfather would grumble about the need to spend more money, but always found a way to buy the family what they needed. She said money was clearly a source of tension between her grandparents, but never witnessed a loud argument over the issue.

Douglas was a deacon at the family's church and helped with back-to-school and outreach programs.

Anne didn't know a lot about the outreach program her husband helped with at Slovak Village, where Douglas' dead body was found, but she said she did know it was "clear across town" and that he attended the apartment building regularly.

Douglas fixed small appliances for residents of Slovak Village and three other locations in Brantford, explained Anne, but he also gave car rides to those in need.

She said he "probably charged" for driving people in town and outside the city to places such as Kitchener and Mississauga.

Under cross examination by defense lawyer Andrew Perrin, Anne said her husband's self-esteem had suffered when he was forced to retire, which is what pushed him to stay busy helping others by doing odd jobs.

"If church goers called for help, he was there," Anne told the court. "He was still there helping and that was important."

Douglas had suffered a lot of hearing loss, so his cellphone was set to ring loudly and would sometimes disrupt church services. Anne said he would grin whenever she gave him a disapproving look.

Perrin asked, "Did it make you wonder why he had to have it on in church?"

Anne agreed with Perrin's suggestion that her husband had discouraged her from asking who was calling him.

She later told Perrin it didn't concern her that she didn't know the clients of her husband's taxi service.

Perrin revisited the list of vices Brock had went through with Anne as they might apply to her husband.

She told the court Doug did not smoke, take narcotics or drink, except for the occasional beer.

Perrin asked if Doug had a vice for extramarital sex.

"It was mentioned to me," Anne said about an indication the police gave her during the investigation into Doug's death.

"Were you not told he might have received sexual favours instead of money?" Perrin said.

Anne said she doesn't believe her husband had extramarital affairs.