Developing

London Murder Hunt: Mugged Pensioner Named

Detectives investigating the murder of a pensioner mugged in west London have named her as 85-year-old Paula Castle.

Mrs Castle, who lived alone in Westbridge Gardens, Greenford, died after being robbed in an alleyway on Monday at around 1.50pm.

The widow, who was registered blind, was initially taken to Ealing Hospital with a head injury.

She was later transferred to St Mary's Hospital but her condition deteriorated and she died in the early hours of Tuesday.

A post-mortem is due to take place.

A police statement said two male suspects were believed to have approached the victim from behind and stolen her handbag.

In the process, Mrs Castle was assaulted and she fell to the ground.

The suspects, who were dressed in dark clothing, then ran off with the handbag - the bag has since been recovered.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

Detective Chief Inspector Russell Taylor, of the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: "We are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the sequence of events which will have occurred in a potentially busy area of Greenford in daylight.

"We are particularly keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the victim or the suspects at the time."

Neighbours said Mrs Castle had lived in Greenford for several decades and was a very quiet person.

Transport manager Paul Honor, 53, said: "She kept herself to herself really. A lot of people are shocked by what's happened.

"We have written to the council asking for the alley to be closed. My son's 15 and I've told him not to use it."

Mo Mian, 32, a prison officer, said: "The only time you would catch her would be on the High Street, shopping, or when she was mowing the front lawn.

"I felt sick when I found out what happened to her.

"She was independent and doing her thing, she was definitely taken before her time."

Anyone with information is urged to call the incident room on 0208 7214868, or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.