Thugs battered an 89-year-old widow to death in her own home during a ‘burglary’ and police have launched a murder investigation as they search for the suspects.
Dorothy Woolmer was pronounced dead after being found on Sunday morning. Police hunting the attacker say the pensioner, who is understood to have lost her husband earlier this year, had ‘clearly been assaulted.’
They are appealing for witnesses and information about the horrific attack in Tottenham, north London.
Dorothy Woolmer died in her own home after intruders broke in. Police (pictured at the scene) have opened a murder investigation
Pictured: Police at the scene in Tottenham, north London, this morning, where an 89-year-old woman has been murdered
Detectives believe intruders got into her address at some point on Saturday night before beating the pensioner, who was frail and walked with a zimmer frame.
Reports of a suspected ‘friend or family member’ who had blood-stained clothes near the scene are being investigated.
Forensics are pictured at the scene in Tottenham, north London, where a brutal assault ended the life of an 89-year-old woman
Police were called by paramedics at around 10.45am yesterday after the body was found at an address in Waltheof Gardens.
DCI Garry Moncrieff, of the Met’s Specialist Crime unit, said: ‘The woman had clearly been assaulted and, as such, a murder investigation has been launched.
‘I want to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in and around Waltheof Gardens and the surrounding area on Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Forensics officers are pictured scouring the scene in Tottenham, north London, following the death of the pensioner
Police have opened a murder investigation after thugs broke into a Tottenham home and left the pensioner dead
‘In addition, somebody locally may be aware of a friend or family member who they saw with blood stains on their clothing, or whose behaviour caused them particular concern on Saturday night or Sunday morning. If so, I need to hear from them.’
DCI Moncrieff said burglary is one possible motive, but officers are retaining an ‘open mind’ at this stage. A post-mortem and formal identification are due to be scheduled.
The former housewife and keen gardener lived in a two-storey terraced home in Tottenham with her husband Ken Woolmer, a former Royal Navy engineer, for more than 60 years. Ken passed away a few years ago, according to neighbours.
Police outside a house in Tottenham and at the cordon after an elderly woman was found murdered inside her own home
Former RAF conscript John George, 91, who lived near Dorothy, said: ‘I couldn’t wish for a better neighbour. She used to trim her hedges and tidy her garden. I used to say, ‘Alright, gardener!’
‘She was a very pleasant lady; and Ken was a most helpful man, any time of the day. They were just good neighbours from ex serviceman to another ex serviceman, he was just a nice guy.’
He added: ‘It’s an absolutely disgusting attack on a 89-year-old. It’s bloody awful, even as a 91-year-old and I’ve got me principles. You think we are all safe, but then something like this happens. We don’t often see a policeman.
‘We only had a break in two weeks ago and they stole a television and laptop. I don’t know if they are going around sussing everybody out.’
Another neighbour, who gave his name as George, 77, added: ‘It’s disgusting what’s happened. A lot of them are targeting elderly people who live on their own.’
Residents say the murder isn’t the first violent crime in that part of Tottenham. Annie Le, 28, said she was mugged while visibly pregnant opposite Ms Woolmer’s home five years ago.
‘She could barely walk to leave her home,’ she said. ‘She was quite frail. She used a zimmer frame. I literally got mugged around there. They mugged me while I was visibly pregnant. They don’t care who they attack. This area is dangerous.’
She added: ‘There were youths on bikes and one snatched my bag.’