Burglar who murdered and sexually assaulted pensioner jailed for life

6 February 2020, 11:46

Dempster admitted he was guilty three days into his trial
Dempster admitted he was guilty three days into his trial. Picture: PA

A man who murdered and sexually assaulted an 89-year-old woman after breaking into her home while she slept has been sentenced to life in prison.

Reece Dempster, 23, was handed his sentence at the Old Bailey on Thursday, where he was told he would serve a minimum of 34 years.

It comes after the burglar changed his plea three days into his trial to admit one count of murder and two of assault by penetration.

He said he had smoked crack and drunk gin before he broke into the home of Dorothy Woolmer - a widow with bone condition osteoporosis - last August.

In the seven hours he is said to have spent in her flat in Tottenham, the 23-year-old battered the victim around the head and body, leaving her with severe injuries to her head and groin area.

He then searched the house for money to fund his drug habit, later telling an acquaintance: "Only got a hundred quid...It wasn't even worth it."

Mrs Woolmer's bloodied and semi-naked body was found the following morning in her bed after her sister and close friend raised the alarm.

Burglar, 23, admits sexually assaulting and murdering widow, 89, in her home

Earlier in the week, the court heard how Dempster told his partner Nikita Richards that he had "blacked out" and later turned a light on to see "blood everywhere".

He added: "And then I ran. It's really bad, it's really bad. I wasn't expecting anyone to be in there. I'm going to be in so much trouble."

Meanwhile, Detective Inspector Garry Moncrieff said it was one of the "most disturbing" cases he had seen, and recalled other senior officers being "shocked at the extent of the violence and depth of the defendant's depravity."

He added: "To have her life ended by this man's monstrous is beyond tragic."