/Man admits murder and sex attack on woman, 89

Man admits murder and sex attack on woman, 89

Dorothy WoolmerImage copyright
Met Police

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Dorothy Woolmer was described as “a wonderful woman who was full of life”

A 23-year-old man has admitted murdering and sexually assaulting an 89-year-old widow in her own bed in north London.

Dorothy Woolmer was found dead with severe injuries at her home in Waltheof Gardens, Tottenham, on 5 August 2019.

Reece Dempster, from Haringey, had smoked crack before breaking into her house, the Old Bailey heard.

Dempster had admitted manslaughter but denied murder and sexual assault. He will be sentenced on Thursday.

The prosecution decided not to proceed on a count of rape following Dempster’s plea change part way through his trial. He admitted two counts of sexual assault by penetration.

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Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

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A count of rape against Dempster was dropped by the prosecution

The court heard that Mrs Woolmer, who had been widowed in 2017, after 64 years of marriage, died as the result of “multiple blunt trauma injuries”.

The court heard that Dempster is 6ft 3in (190cm) tall, while Ms Woolmer was 4ft 11in (150cm) tall and weighed less than eight stone (51kg).

Dempster, who was caught on CCTV fleeing the scene, had spent about seven hours in Mrs Woolmer’s home after breaking in through a back door on the night of 3 August, the prosecution said.

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Police discovered Dorothy Woolmer’s body at her home in Tottenham

Dempster later told his former partner that on the night of the attack he had been at his father’s house “smoking crack and drinking three or four bottles of gin”, the trial was told.

“I went off and I went to rob a house; I think I hurt someone,” he is said to have told her.

The prosecution said Dempster had been “casing” the house for several days and knew it was occupied by a vulnerable older person.

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