A mugger has denied killing an 86-year-old woman 20 years ago, saying his DNA could have transferred on to her bag from the real culprit.
Junior Young, 39, from Brixton, south London, is on trial at the Old Bailey accused of the manslaughter of Hilda Lockert on April 30 2001.
Mrs Lockert was allegedly attacked in Brixton by two robbers who made off with her purse containing £15, a shopping bag and a bus pass.
She was taken to hospital and died two weeks later, jurors have heard.
The court has heard how Young, then aged 18, had admitted robbing another woman within days of the attack on Mrs Lockert.
On May 10 2001, the 51-year-old woman was robbed after she parked her car in Angel Road, Brixton.
Jurors heard Young had “lunged” through the car window, grabbed hold of her handbag and punched her in the face.
Young was arrested and had admitted that offence.
But giving evidence on Monday, Young said he was not guilty of robbing or causing the death of Mrs Lockert.
He told jurors: “Everything I have done I have put my hands up to. I have never been on trial.”
Young had originally been arrested on June 5, 2001 over Mrs Lockert’s death and released without charge.
Cross-examining, Edward Brown QC asked why Young had refused to tell police then who he was with on a balcony at the time Mrs Lockert was attacked.
The prosecutor said: “What’s the problem with telling the police who your friends were who may give you an alibi?
“You told the officers you had never set eyes on Mrs Lockert and you were not there.
“It follows that these friends just could have proved it, couldn’t they?”
Young replied: “If you say so. I was not looking at it like that. I was looking at it like police were being nosy.
“I was not worried. There was no proof apart from speculation that it was me.
“At the time it was speculation that me and another person took part in this.”
Mr Brown said: “We are in 2021 today – and this case has not gone away and we know your DNA – part of mixed DNA – is on the handle of her bag.
“Are you going to tell us who your friends were on the balcony just in case they can give you an alibi today?”
Young replied: “I could not even remember what I was wearing, how can I say with certainty who was on the balcony?”
When quizzed on how his DNA got on to the victim’s bag, the defendant said there were a lot of robberies on the estate where he lived at the time.
Mr Brown said: “Do you want us to consider that somehow you got into contact with a robber and your robber carried your DNA to rob Mrs Lockert and somehow put your DNA on the handle?”
Young responded: “It’s a possibility.”
Mr Brown went on: “Is it? Then who was the robber who may have done it?”
The defendant told jurors that it “could be a number of people”.
The trial at the Old Bailey continues.