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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 October, 2004, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
Man accused of pensioner's murder
A pensioner was murdered by a man who punched and kicked her in the face when she resisted as he burgled her home, the Old Bailey has heard.

Hilda Ashdown, 82, died from her injuries 10 days after the attack at her home of 47 years in Camberwell.

The prosecution said she tried to fight off two men with a stick after they forced their way in, in March 2003.

Elroy Simmons, 26, of Kennington, south London, denies Mrs Ashdown's murder and 12 robberies of people aged 68 to 95.

Nicholas Atkinson, for the prosecution, said Mrs Ashdown was found with her face "covered in blood" by her son.

'Demanded money'

He told the court that finger and shoe prints pointed to Mr Simmons having been at her home.

Mr Atkinson said the defendant would knock on the doors of elderly people and claim to be from the council.

Sometimes accompanied by another man, Mr Simmons would force his way in to their homes and demand money, he told the court.

Mr Simmons also denies attempted robbery and causing grievous bodily harm.

The case continues.

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