Hornchurch death: Tribute to 'devoted grandmother'

Rosemary Shearman
Image caption Rosemary Shearman was due to go on a 10-day cruise to Norway

The family of a 77-year-old "devoted grandmother" found dead at her home have described her death as "unbelievably shocking and cruel".

Rosemary Shearman was found in Platford Green, Hornchurch, last Tuesday. A post-mortem examination found she died from obstruction of the upper airway.

A man was arrested at the address and charged with murder.

Her family said: "We are finding it very difficult to come to terms with her loss and the way it happened."

'Couldn't sink in'

Ms Shearman was found dead after a taxi driver called at her address by appointment. When he received no response, he contacted neighbours who went inside her home and found her body.

In a statement her family said: "She was a devoted grandmother and although she never fully recovered from the death of our father nearly five years ago, she lived a very full and busy life.

"She regularly played tennis, was a member of many local clubs and took day trips and holidays with friends."

Her son Gregg Shearman said his heart "missed a beat" when police initially made contact.

He said: "It just couldn't sink in. My mother was so fit, so active, she was always doing something.

"My 12-year-old daughter is devastated..., my sister in Hong Kong, and her children... My mum's sister in Elm Park, she's devastated..., her brother in east London... (it's) terrible."

Thomas Blazquez, 50, of Redbridge, east London, was in court on Monday charged with Ms Shearman's murder.

Det Ch Insp Noel McHugh, leading the investigation, said: "We are seeking further information about Rosemary's movements during the morning of Tuesday 3 September, particularly during 08:30 to 11:00.

"She was due to leave on holiday that morning, having booked a 10-day cruise in Norway, but was found dead at home shortly before 12:30. Did you see her out and about that morning?

"Also I am continuing to ask for anyone who saw a man described as white, 6ft 2ins, of heavy build but not muscular, wearing a dark pinstripe suit.

"He was carrying a white plastic bag. Did he knock at your door that morning? Or did you see him in and around the area of Platford Green, Tyle Green and Wingletye Lane?"

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