Homeless man murdered 'kind-hearted' pensioner, 83, who took him in
A homeless man has been found guilty of murdering an elderly woman who took him in, before burning her body on a bonfire in her garden.
Allan Scott, 42, lodged with 83-year-old Patricia Holland, a "charitable woman concerned with people who were down on their luck and the homeless", who offered him a roof over his head after she met him while he was selling paintings outside a shop.
But a trial at Norwich Crown Court heard that after moving in in 2020 Scott became aggressive towards the pensioner, who wanted him to leave.
Prosecutor David Spens KC said Scott had been determined to stay at the house in Gorleston, Norfolk, prompting him to kill her on the night of 24 July 2021 and burn her body so she couldn't be found.
He said Scott's"best chance of being able to stay in her house was if she went missing", telling the court: "This was because if she died, according to the terms of her will he would no longer be able to stay. He would be liable for eviction.
"The prosecution case is he violently attacked her on 24 July 24 into 25 July 2021, and burned her body on a bonfire in her back garden in an attempt to destroy all traces of her."
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Norfolk Police said blood spatters were found in the house, and officers found that sections of the carpet in the hallway and living room had been cut out and were later found at the bonfire site.
Scott denied murder but was found guilty by a jury, Norfolk Police said. He had admitted to preventing a lawful burial.
Senior investigating officer Chris Burgess, from Norfolk Police, said: “This is a truly shocking crime where a vulnerable, well-liked elderly woman was murdered in her home by a man she had taken sympathy on and provided shelter to.
“It is clear that Patricia was murdered in her hallway, then Allan Scott has gone to extreme measures to attempt to hide the heinous crime he committed.
“The callous act of then burning her body on a fire in the back garden is inexcusable."
The court heard friends described Patricia Holland as "having a heart of gold and always happy", while neighbours described her as a "lovely kind-hearted woman".
Burgess added: "Patricia was well-known in the community in Gorleston.
"She was a regular churchgoer and a familiar face to many at local cafes and the local food bank she attended.
"The extensive investigation, and help from experts, found key evidence that showed Scott had murdered Patricia and went to extreme lengths to conceal his actions."
Scott will be sentenced at a later date.