Friday 15 December 2017

Elderly pensioner tortured and beaten to death with her own rolling pin - murder trial

Martin Halfpenny

A MAN tortured a pensioner with a knife for her credit card pin number and then beat her to death with her own marble rolling pin, a court heard today.

Georgina Edmonds was "brutally murdered" in January 2008 inside her country cottage in Brambridge, Hampshire, by Michael Hamlen, 33, the prosecution allege.



A jury at Winchester Crown Court was told that Mrs Edmonds lived in the grounds of her son Harry's house and was independent, but suffered from osteoporosis and had had several hip replacements.



The 77-year-old was discovered in a pool of blood in the kitchen by her son and two estate workers after the house was found in darkness.



Paramedics called to the scene noticed puncture wounds to her neck and shoulder and the bloodied rolling pin was found broken from its handle.



Michael Bowes QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "The many knife wounds penetrated Georgina Edmonds's skin. Their pattern suggests they had been inflicted with some deliberation rather than a significant degree of force.



"Given the theft of her credit card and its unsuccessful use hours later, the inference is she was tortured in order to obtain her pin and then beaten to death."



Hamlen, from Eastleigh, Hants, denies murder.



Mr Edmonds went to see his mother after he returned home from work, the court heard, but got no reply at her house.



He noticed that all the lights were off, which was unusual, Mr Bowes said.



"The whole place seemed dark and still and he had a feeling that something was just not right."



Mr Edmonds tried to phone his mother but got no answer. He later returned to the house with the estate two workers and they entered and found his mother.



"He saw his mother's legs lying on the floor of the kitchen. Her upper body and head were behind the door as he pushed it open," the barrister said.



"Initially he thought she had fallen. He then saw his mother lying flat on her face, completely still, with a very significant pool of blood coming from her head or face.



"He saw that her trousers had been pulled down slightly and that on the back of her head there was a significant pinkish dent, as if caused by one huge hit or by several blows in the same place.



"It was obvious to him that she was dead and that she had been murdered."



Mr Bowes told the jury that Mrs Edmonds had suffered knife wounds to her neck, shoulder, abdomen and thighs and fractured ribs, and the prosecution claim they were due to "jabbing which was part of escalating violence in order to get information out of her".



He said her credit card, mobile phone and handbag were stolen and that her killer had attempted to use the card in a nearby cash machine at 10.38pm on January 11 - just hours after the murder.



The card was used at a Tesco Express in Eastleigh but the transaction was rejected because the wrong pin was used.



The prosecution allege that it was Hamlen using the card and was captured on CCTV disguised in a hooded fluorescent jacket.



Mr Bowes also told the jury there is a "forensic DNA link to Hamlen" from the rolling pin handle.



An expert found it more likely that a minor component of DNA found on the handle belonged to Hamlen. But there was also DNA of either one or two other individuals and Mr Bowes told the jury this evidence would have to be looked at carefully.



Cell site analysis of Hamlen's mobile phone also showed him in the vicinity of where Mrs Edmonds lived in Fig Tree Cottage with her two cocker spaniels and also close to a river towpath near the cottage which led back to where Hamlen lived in Eastleigh.



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