Woman, 93, beaten to death with stick by fellow care home resident, jury finds

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A 93-year-old woman was beaten to death with a walking stick by a fellow care home resident, a jury has found.

Eileen Dean, who suffered from dementia, was attacked in her bedroom at Fieldside in Catford, south London, on January 3.

Following a trial of the facts at the Old Bailey, her mentally ill neighbour Alexander Rawson, 63, was found by a jury to have attacked and killed her.

The court heard how Mrs Dean was beaten repeatedly with a metal walking stick causing severe injuries to her face, head and upper body.

Old Bailey stock
An Old Bailey jury found Eileen Dean was beaten to death (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Afterwards, Rawson phoned 999 in a state of distress and agitation, and said: “I think somebody’s been killed and I don’t know what’s happening.”

He went on to tell the operator: “I think I might have done something wrong.”

Mrs Dean had suffered multiple fractures to facial bones and traumatic brain injury, and died in hospital.

A blood-stained metal walking stick in her room had Rawson’s fingerprint on it.

At the time of the attack, Mrs Dean had been self-isolating in her room as she recovered from Covid-19.

She had lived at the care home since June 2020 and was described by staff as “very calm, lovely and quiet”.

Despite her age, she was independent and only required support for her personal care, jurors were told.

Rawson moved into the bedroom next door in late December last year, having previously been detained under the Mental Health Act and been an in-patient at two south London hospitals since last July.

He had been charged with Mrs Dean’s murder but was deemed unfit to stand trial.

Rawson will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on December 20.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Wood, of Scotland Yard, said: “Eileen was a completely defenceless woman whose life was suddenly taken away in a horrific manner.

“She had already been through a great deal, losing her husband almost 30 years ago, but she was described as a calm, quiet and lovely woman by all those who knew her.

“We hope her children and grandchildren have the space to grieve together now the trial is complete and to remember Eileen for the wonderful woman she was.”

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