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Last Updated: Friday, 19 November, 2004, 15:52 GMT
Man jailed for pensioner's murder
Elroy Simmonds
Simmonds has already served a sentence for raping a woman
A robber who killed an elderly woman when she fought back with her stick after he pushed his way into her house, has been jailed for life.

The Old Bailey heard Elroy Simmonds, 26, of Kennington, south London, punched and kicked Hilda Ashdown, 82, at her home of 47 years in Camberwell.

Simmonds was found guilty of murdering Mrs Ashdown who died 10 days later.

He was jailed for 12 years concurrently for other robberies and assaults and must serve a minimum of 16 years.

Simmonds, a convicted rapist, preyed on elderly victims and would knock on the doors of their homes claiming to be from the council or looking for someone.

I have come to the conclusion that you are a danger, particularly to the old and vulnerable
Judge Stephen Kramer
He would then push his way into the homes of his victims, all 11 of whom were aged between 73 and 95, and demand money.

Sometimes Simmonds was with another man, including the time he forced his way into Mrs Ashdown's home.

Judge Stephen Kramer told him: "In a campaign of robberies, you preyed on and targeted old people.

"It was only a matter of time before you killed one of your victims.

Hilda Ashdown
Mrs Ashdown died 10 days after the attack in her home
"I have come to the conclusion that you are a danger, particularly to the old and vulnerable.

"You did not use weapons - you did not need to. You are a fit young man. Your chosen victims were neither. You terrified them."

The court heard Simmonds was convicted of robbing other schoolchildren when aged 14.

And at 18 was jailed for six years for robbing and raping and 49-year-old women with learning difficulties in her own home.

Pensioner dies after burglary
28 Mar 03 |  England

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