Lodger In Court Accused Of Murdering Pensioner

Victim described by neighbours as a "lovely, normal lady who wouldn't hurt a fly"

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A Mormon pensioner was strangled to death by her mentally ill lodger after she let him stay with her, a court heard on Monday. Felix Gutierrez-Cortez, 34, allegedly killed 61-year-old Anna Maria Thomas at her flat in Putney, southwest London.

Her head and face were swollen and her eyes were bulging out when she was found dead by paramedics after Gutierrez-Cortez called emergency services on 10 December 2013.

A postmortem gave the cause of death as compression of the neck, which the prosecution say was most likely caused by strangulation.

Neighbours at the time of her murder were in a "state of shock: ...nothing like it had ever happened on the estate before which they described as a "close knit community".

March 3, 2015