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Graeme Jarman trial: Judith Richardson suffered 50 injuries

PENSIONER Judith Richardson's killer kept landing blows to her head as she crawled along then laid down on her hall floor, a court heard.

Judith Richardson and Graeme Jarman who is accused of her murder

PENSIONER Judith Richardson's killer kept landing blows to her head as she crawled along then laid down on her hall floor, a court heard.

A forensic scientist said bloodstains at Miss Richardson’s Hexham flat indicated the attack which killed her started in her lobby and continued along her hall.

Graeme Jarman is alleged to have battered 77-year-old Miss Richardson to death with a hammer after tricking his way into her Northumberland home.

Samantha Warner, a forensic scientist, told Newcastle Crown Court the pattern of blood spatter gave clues about what had happened during the alleged murder.

She said: “There was extensive blood spatter from the centre of the radiator in the hallway towards the bedroom, at a height which was in keeping with Miss Richardson having been crawling.

“In my opinion she has been struck while on her knees or crawling, then was struck again while lying down with her head near the bedroom door.

“There were repeated blows into wet blood, some of which were struck while she was kneeling but most of which were struck when she was lying on the ground.” Ms Warner said she believed Miss Richardson had initially been attacked in her lobby and may have lain there for a few minutes before getting up, falling against a wall then crawling along her hall towards her bedroom.

Prosecutors say Jarman ransacked her bedroom looking for valuables to steal.

Miss Richardson, 5ft 4ins and just over eight stone, had more than 50 external injuries to her body, including 34 to the head and a number of injuries to her arms sustained as she tried to defend herself.

She had extensive fractures to the skull, including “depressed fractures” which would have required severe force to inflict, the court has heard.

Miss Richardson also had 29 tears to the skin on her head, a fractured cheek bone, bleeding on the brain, tears to her brain and bruising to her hands, arms and legs.

Jarman is accused of targeting Miss Richardson as she sat having lunch in her flat.

Prosecutors say he tricked her into answering her door with Age UK leaflets then battered her to the head with a hammer and stole her bag and jewellery.

Later that day Miss Richardson’s handbag was found dumped in a bin on Clayton Street, in Newcastle city centre, and when officers went to her home to investigate, they found her dead on her hall floor.

Jarman, 48, formerly of Greenways, Delves Lane, Consett, accepts he was in the area on the day but claims he just found the victim’s bag while sitting on a wall near her home. He denies murder.

The trial continues.

 

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