Robber found guilty of killing elderly woman 20 years ago after DNA breakthrough

·2-min read
 (ES Composite)
(ES Composite)

A man has been found guilty of killing an elderly woman 20 years ago thanks to a DNA breakthrough in the case.

Junior Young was 18 years old when he and an accomplice fatally attacked Hilda Lockert, 86, outside her front door as she returned home in Brixton, south London, on April 30 2001.

Young, 39, of no fixed address, was found guilty of Ms Lockert’s manslaughter and robbery on Monday.

Ms Lockert was approaching the front door of her home at Langport House in Overton Road, SW9, when she was grabbed from behind by her coat and bag.

Hilda Lockert on her 85th birthday (PA Media)
Hilda Lockert on her 85th birthday (PA Media)

She fell heavily to the ground before two males searched her coat pockets, taking her bag of shopping, her bus pass and her wallet, which contained just £15.

The fall left her with multiple injuries including a fractured knee and she was admitted to hospital where she had an operation.

Ms Lockert developed a blood clot and died on May 15, 2001, on her 86th birthday.

Medical reports concluded that there was a “clear medical and real causal relationship” between the fracture to Ms Lockert’s knee and her death.

Following initial enquiries, Young was arrested on 5 June 200 and denied any involvement in the attack.

Forensic analysis of Ms Lockert’s shopping bag and coat at the time found limited evidence that Young was present in a DNA sample, but the match was not strong enough to proceed with any charges.

There was also no CCTV of the offence and no witnesses to what had taken place.

As part of a review in 2015, the DNA samples from the shopping bag were re-examined, using an extremely sensitive method and specialised software.

The scientist carrying out the examination concluded that the DNA sample was one billion times more likely to have come from Young, Hilda and another unrelated person than Hilda and two other unrelated people.

Junior Young, 39, will be sentenced on December 20 (Metropolitan Police)
Junior Young, 39, will be sentenced on December 20 (Metropolitan Police)

Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard, from Specialist Crime, said: “Up until this attack, Hilda had been a very independent woman who continued to do all of her own shopping and housework.

“Due to her age and the fact she was alone, Young saw her as an easy target and had no regard for the injuries he might cause when he violently robbed her.

“Hilda’s sudden death left her family and those who knew her distraught but she has never been forgotten, thanks in part to them naming a street in Brixton after her.

“Similarly we in the Met have never stopped fighting for justice for Hilda, despite the passage of time.

“We are pleased that thanks to advances in science Young now faces a significant custodial sentence and we hope this acts as a reminder to others who think they have evaded justice that we will not give up in our quest to find them.”

Young will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Monday, 20 December.

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