Man jailed for murdering 'lovely, harmless old lady' nearly 25 years after committing the crime
A PENSIONER has been jailed for murdering an 86-year-old woman, nearly a quarter of a century after committing the crime.
Raymond Kay strangled elderly Amy Shepherd with a tea towel before slashing her throat with a knife on August 2 1994, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
A jury heard how Kay, now 70, knew the victim as he had previously delivered meals on wheels to her home as part of a community service punishment for another offence.
A number of items were missing from Ms Shepherd's home following her death, including a ring, suggesting that the motive for the offence may have been a robbery, the CPS said.
A CPS spokeswoman said that advances in forensic science helped identify Kay of Baker Fold, Halifax, through the testing of DNA swabs recovered from the victim's sheltered accommodation in Folly Hall Gardens, Bradford, where she was found dead.
The defendant was convicted of murder by a Bradford Crown Court jury on Tuesday and was sentenced to life with a minimum of 17 years, West Yorkshire Police said.
In a statement released following the verdict, Ms Shepherd's family said she was a "lovely, harmless old lady".
They added: "There has not been a day which has gone by since that fateful day when we have not thought about her.
"Not knowing who had committed such an awful crime has caused us severe anxiety, upset and at times, depression.
"It has had a huge impact on our family and hearing that someone was finally charged with her murder has given us hope that we can finally have some closure."
Samantha Davidson, from the CPS, said that Kay had performed a "brutal attack upon a defenceless, elderly lady in her own home".
She added: "In the quarter of a century since her murder, Kay must have thought he had got away with his terrible crime. But he has not.
"Advances in forensic science provided the scientific evidence needed to convince the jury of his guilt.
"Our thoughts remain with her relatives, and we hope that the verdict today brings them some closure."
West Yorkshire Police said that Kay's DNA was found on a hair on the pensioner's neck, as well as the tea towel that was used to strangle her.
Detective Superintendent Chris Gibson said: "We never close a case until it is solved and today we have been able to get justice for Amy and closure for her family.
"Kay might have thought that he had 'got away' with what he did but the advances in DNA techniques mean that we are increasingly able to bring people to justice for their crimes, even if they were committed many years previously."