Pensioner killed for just £30, court hears

4:45pm Tuesday 13th May 2014

A PENSIONER was murdered in her own home for £30, a court heard today (Tuesday, May 13).

The man accused of stabbing and strangling Rose Doughty spent the cash on topping up his electricity meter, cigarettes and lottery cards, Teesside Crown Court was told.

The victim suffered stab wounds to her face, neck and abdomen before being fatally strangled by Christian Darko, who lived directly below her in a block of flats in Fosdyke Green, Netherfields, Middlesbrough.

The pensioner was discovered on November 23 last year - the day after her 72nd birthday - by her granddaughter several hours after she had been murdered, the jury heard.

Nick Dry, prosecuting, said the defendant was captured on security cameras going backwards and forwards from his to the victim’s flat on several occasions on the Saturday morning before he was let into her home just after 10am.

He was then seen leaving the flat a minute later, before heading downstairs to his home, picking up a cable and returning to the floor above. The CCTV footage showed he remained in the victim’s flat for about 30 minutes.

Mr Dry said: “It is likely that Rose Doughty was either dead or dying, stabbed by the defendant who returned to steal from her.”

After Darko stole the money from the pensioner, Mr Dry said he went to the nearby Sainsbury’s where he put £20 on his electricity key, bought a packet of cigarettes and spent the rest on lottery cards.

The jury heard how he then returned to the block of flats and spent several hours in a neighbour’s home.

“This was premeditated murder for gain,” Mr Dry said. “Taking what he wanted when his repeated requests for money were denied, spending what little Rose Doughty had and then attempted to cover his tracks.”

Evidence from the victim’s daughter, Jacqueline Brown, was read in court by Mr Dry. She lovingly described the mother-of four and grandmother of 11 as "dozy Rosie" for all of the daft things she used to say.

She told police that Darko had tried to get money out of her mother the day before she was killed. She had refused to give him any cash but let him use her telephone and filled a flask of hot water to help him make cups of tea.

Darko kept his head bowed in the dock while details of the attack were given in court.

The 41-year-old denies murdering the pensioner but admits a charge of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.

The trial continues.


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