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Handyman admits bludgeoning pensioner to death in her Romford home


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Met Police

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The body of 85-year-old Rosina Coleman was found at her home in Romford

A handyman has been jailed for life after he admittited bludgeoning an 85-year-old woman to death with a hammer.

Rosina Coleman was killed at her home in Ashmour Gardens, Romford, east London, on 15 May.

Paul Prause called police claiming he had found the former seamstress dead, but was later arrested and charged.

The 65-year-old, of Romford, pleaded guilty to Ms Coleman’s murder and was jailed at the Old Bailey for a minimum of 22 years.

A previous hearing heard Ms Coleman had “plainly sustained severe trauma all over her body”.

It also heard an “untidy search” had been carried out in her bedroom.

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Met Police

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Paul Prause, 65, was jailed for a minimum of 22 years

Prause initially told detectives he had found Mrs Coleman’s body when he arrived at her house, but was challenged over his account in police interviews.

He eventually told officers he went round for a cup of tea but was sworn at by the pensioner as he left, so he hit her round the head with a hammer.

He had felt rage and could not stop himself, and continued hitting her until she was dead, he told police.

Prause said he staged the bedroom ‘search’ to make it look like a burglary.

Prause said he had hidden belongings in his house, including a diamond ring which was later found in a shed.

After giving at least two false accounts to police, the defendant accepted responsibility for inflicting the fatal injuries.

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Met Police

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The hammer which inflicted the injuries was recovered from the River Rom.

Prause had previous convictions between 1966 and 1994 for theft, burglary and taking a vehicle without consent, the court heard.

Det Ch Insp Paul Considine said: “Prause pretended he had just come across this terrible crime when in reality he was Rose’s attacker.

“He lied to officers until the evidence caught him out and he was forced to admit he had hit her repeatedly with a hammer.”

Mrs Coleman had lived at the address for decades with her husband Bill, who died about 11 years ago.



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