Robber jailed for murdering 'kind' Greenwich pensioner

Image caption, Mr Highwood was known for his generosity

A homeless robber has been jailed for life at the Old Bailey for murdering a 79-year-old man who offered him a meal at his home in south-west London.

Marcin Orlowski, 21, a Polish national, battered Edward Highwood with a vase and stole valuables from the home in Hollymount Close, Greenwich, last July.

Orlowski had fled Poland as he was facing four years in jail for robbery and theft, but after arriving in the UK he became homeless. He denied the murder.

He was found guilty after a retrial.

'Gregarious man'

Judge Richard Hawkins ordered the killer to serve a minimum of 23 years.

The court heard that Orlowski, who is an alcoholic, called police after becoming homeless and wanted to be sent back to Poland.

Image caption, Orlowski was jailed for a minimum of 23 years

But he was advised to contact the Polish Embassy for help.

Days later, Mr Highwood spotted him at a homeless shelter and offered him a meal.

At the pensioner's home, Orlowski hit him 10 times over the head with the vase and fled to Brighton.

The judge told Orlowski that Mr Highwood was a generous man. "You took advantage of his generosity."

Acting Det Insp Steve Warrilow said the pensioner was described as a "gregarious and kind man" who was known to be generous to those in difficulty.

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