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Tuesday, 17 December, 2002, 20:17 GMT
Elderly woman 'killed for 13'
Catherine Wrenn
Catherine Wrenn was seen shopping before the attack
A woman days short of her 85th birthday has died in hospital after apparently being attacked and robbed of 13 outside her home in east London.

Police said Catherine Wrenn was found collapsed on her doorstep in Clapton Square, Clapton, by neighbours on Thursday.

She was taken by ambulance to Homerton Hospital with head injuries where she died on Friday.

A post mortem examination showed her injuries were consistent with being the victim of a violent street robbery.

Catherine Wrenn was a defenceless elderly lady who had never harmed anyone in her life

Detective Chief Superintendent Jon Shatford
Scotland Yard said it is believed she was approached outside her home and grabbed from behind.

When she was found by neighbours, she managed to indicate she had been robbed.

Her shopping bag, which is thought to have contained a red purse with 13 inside, is missing.

Police said she had lived in the area for 50 years and had worked as a midwife before retiring at the age of 60.

Her friend Martha Feleppa told BBC London: "Catherine was a lovely person, a bundle of fun.

"If you felt miserable this woman would cheer you up, just to look at her face."

Witness appeal

Detective Chief Superintendent Jon Shatford of the Serious Crime Group said: "Catherine Wrenn was a defenceless elderly lady who had never harmed anyone in her life.

"The greatest joy in her life was her young nieces who she visited every week.

"Her other pleasure was to attend the local church and walk around the shops."

Police are appealing for anyone who saw Ms Wrenn on Thursday morning to contact them.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC London's Guy Smith
"Frail and clearly vulnerable, Catherine Wrenn was seen on CCTV in a corner shop just before the attack."

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