Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Georgina Edmonds murder: Killer sentenced to 30 years

Matthew Hamlen attending Winchester Crown Court Image copyright PA
Image caption Matthew Hamlen, 36, from Bishopstoke, denied murdering Georgina Edmonds

A man who battered a pensioner to death with a marble rolling pin has been handed a life sentence.

Matthew Hamlen was convicted of Georgina Edmonds' 2008 murder on Tuesday. He was acquitted of the same charge in 2012 due to poor DNA evidence.

He was re-arrested after "powerful fresh evidence" came to light.

Mr Justice Saunders, at Winchester Crown Court, said the killer must serve a minimum of 30 years in prison.

During the trial, jurors heard Mrs Edmonds was stabbed several times and tortured for her debit card PIN code before being battered with a rolling pin.

'Shocked the community'

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption It took two trials and eight years to bring Georgina Edmond's killer to justice

Read more: Fresh DNA clues convict murderer

Sentencing, Mr Justice Saunders said: "It was a murder which shocked the community in which Georgina Edmonds lived.

"She was battered to death with a marble rolling pin in her own home by a complete stranger.

"I have no doubt that when he inflicted those blows, Matthew Hamlen intended to kill Georgina Edmonds."

'Limited mitigation'

Mr Justice Saunders said that although 30 years might seem a short sentence for such a serious crime, Hamlen would "qualify as an old age pensioner" by the time he was eligible for parole.

He added that there were "limited mitigating features" as Hamlen had "lived a blameless life for the four years since his acquittal" in 2012.

Mrs Edmonds was found by her son Harry in her cottage, where she lived alone, on the banks of the River Itchen in Hampshire.

Mr Edmonds said: "It has contained almost as many twists and turns as an Agatha Christie thriller.

"The investigation has lasted eight long years and, sadly, was not a tale written to entertain people but the true story of a wicked and vicious crime"

Following a two-year manhunt, during which almost 2,000 people were DNA tested, Hamlen was eventually charged with murder in 2010.

His DNA profile was incomplete, however, and he was acquitted.

But detectives later found new DNA evidence on Mrs Edmonds' blouse.

Ian Harris, from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "Georgina Edmonds was brutally and callously murdered in her own home.

"It has taken two trials and eight long years for her family to obtain justice."

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