Moment burglar who savagely murdered pensioner, 86, in front of her husband is arrested

Watch: Moment burglar who savagely murdered pensioner, 86, in front of her husband is arrested

This is the moment a burglar who savagely murdered a pensioner in front of her husband was arrested.

Vasile Culea, 34, tortured 86-year-old Freda Walker and her husband Ken, 88, at their home in Langwith Junction, Derby, on 14 January.

He brutally beat, gagged and “hog-tied” the couple, with Mrs Walker being confirmed dead at the scene and Mr Walker dying some months later, although for reasons unconnected with the attack.

Police have released a video which shows Culea being detained at a property after he was convicted of Mrs Walker's murder on Tuesday.

He was cleared of Mr Walker's attempted murder but convicted of wounding with intent.

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Freda and Kenneth Walker were attacked in their home. (SWNS)
Freda and Kenneth Walker were attacked in their home. (SWNS)

Culea “hog-tied” Mr and Mrs Walker – binding their hands and feet – while searching the couple’s home for £30,000 in cash which he found out about after claiming to have overheard two strangers chatting about it in a shop.

CCTV showed Culea arrived at their address at about 5.30pm, claiming he opened their unlocked back door, and hid, only later discovered by Mrs Walker and her husband.

However, the prosecution said ruthless Culea waited for Mrs Walker to open the door to let the cat out, forcing his way inside and launching a violent attack which left Mr Walker with a broken neck.

Jurors heard the victims suffered “frankly horrific” injuries, and that Mrs Walker had a reasonable prospect of survival had she not been “abandoned without any assistance”, her airway restricted by a gag.

Mrs Walker suffered a fatal brain injury, and was found dead in the kitchen by emergency services the day after the attack.

She had at least two knotted coverings over her head – a pillowcase and a bin liner.

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Vasile Culea was found guilty of murcer. (SWNS)
Vasile Culea was found guilty of murcer. (SWNS)
Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Vasile Culea in the dock at Derby Crown Court where he is appearing accused of the murder of 86-year-old Freda Walker, and the attempted murder of her 88-year-old husband Ken Walker. Picture date: Tuesday January 25, 2022.
Vasile Culea in the dock at Derby Crown Court. (PA)

Culea, who left under cover of darkness with £300 from a handbag, repeatedly lied about how the couple suffered the injuries.

By the time the victims had been discovered the next day by a concerned neighbour, Mrs Walker was dead and her husband – a former miner at Shirebrook Colliery and later a district councillor – gravely hurt.

Mr Walker’s injuries included a broken neck and he died some months after the incident.

The couple’s niece Sandra Bunting called for “a very long sentence” for Culea.

She said: “How anybody could inflict that pain and torture, I don’t know.”

Culea had already admitted manslaughter of Mrs Walker and the grievous bodily harm of her husband, but prosecutors said he was guilty of fabricating “a nonsense” to cover up for an attack on the couple that went “far beyond any justification; savage in its nature – and sustained”.

A jury unanimously convicted Culea after just two hours and 15 minutes, having heard his claim that he injured Mrs Walker after “slipping” on a spilt drink and stepping on her chest, after she “fell over” during his attack.

Culea of Grove Road, Church Warsop, will be sentenced later.