Homeless man murdered elderly woman who took him in before burning her body on a bonfire
A homeless man has been found guilty of murdering an elderly woman who took him in, before he burnt her body on a bonfire in her garden.
Allan Scott, 42, lodged with 83-year-old Patricia Holland at her home in Gorleston in Norfolk, a trial at Norwich Crown Court was told.
David Spens KC, opening the prosecution case, said Mrs Holland was a “charitable woman concerned with people who were down on their luck and the homeless”.
He said that Scott was homeless and Mrs Holland “offered him a roof over his head”.
Norfolk Police said Scott started lodging with her in 2020 at her home in Lowestoft Road after they met while he was selling his paintings outside a shop.
Mr Spens said that before long Scott became aggressive towards Mrs Holland and eventually she wanted him to leave.
The prosecutor said that Scott killed Mrs Holland on the night of July 24 into July 25 2021.
He said Scott had been “determined to stay and his best chance of being able to stay in her house was if she went missing”.
“This was because if she died, according to the terms of her will he would no longer be able to stay,” he said.
“He would be liable for eviction.
“The prosecution case is he violently attacked her on July 24 into July 25, 2021, and burned her body on a bonfire in her back garden in an attempt to destroy all traces of her.”
Scott denied murder but was found guilty by a jury following just over two hours of deliberation at Norwich Crown Court, Norfolk Police said.
He had admitted to preventing a lawful burial.
Mr Spens said friends described Mrs Holland as “having a heart of gold and always happy; neighbours describe her as a lovely kind-hearted woman”.
Norfolk Police said blood spatter was found in the house, and that body-worn footage from officers recorded that sections of the carpet in the hallway and living room had been cut.
The remnants were later recovered at the bonfire site.
Senior investigating officer Chris Burgess said: “This is a truly shocking crime where a vulnerable, well-liked elderly woman was murdered in her home by a man she had taken sympathy on and provided shelter to.
“It is clear that Patricia was murdered in her hallway, then Allan Scott has gone to extreme measures to attempt to hide the heinous crime he committed.
“The callous act of then burning her body on a fire in the back garden is inexcusable.
“Patricia was well-known in the community in Gorleston.
“She was a regular churchgoer and a familiar face to many at local cafes and the local food bank she attended.
“The extensive investigation, and help from experts, found key evidence that showed Scott had murdered Patricia and went to extreme lengths to conceal his actions.”
Scott is due to be sentenced at a later date.