Burglar left pensioner to die after savagely beating her and tying her up
– Yesterday 22:36
A ‘savage’ burglar who beat, gagged and tied up a pensioner before leaving her to die has been found guilty of murder.
Vasile Culea was accused of murdering Freda Walker and attacking her husband Kenneth (Picture: PA/SWNS)© Provided by Metro
Vasile Culea was convicted of the murder of Freda Walker, 86, and badly injuring her 88-year-old husband Kenneth Walker on January 14.
He ‘hog-tied’ Mr and Mrs Walker, bound their hands and feet and searched their Derbyshire, home for £30,000 he overheard strangers talk about in a shop.
Culea, 34, placed plastic bags and a pillowcase over Mrs Walker who died of a brain injury.
The warehouse worker was unable to find the cash as Mr Walker, a former Langwith district councillor, had forgotten where it was, jurors heard
She was found dead in the kitchen the following day after worried neighbours phoned emergency services.
Culea lurked around the property for hours before the incident (Picture: SWNS)© Provided by Metro
Footage of Vasile Culea being arrested at a property only a short drive away from the victims’ home (Picture: Derbyshire Police / SWNS)© Provided by Metro
Derby Crown Court heard Mr Walker died some months later though his death was unrelated to the incident.
CCTV footage showed Mr Culea climbing over the fence of the couple’s home at around 5:30pm and waiting in their garden.
He had been scoping the area for hours having parked his Audi nearby.
Culea told the court he opened their unlocked door and hid in the utility room before Mr and Mrs Walker discovered them as they looked for their cat.
But prosecutors saw differently. They said Mr Culea waited for Mrs Walker to open the door to let the cat out and ducked inside and launched a violent attack.
Mrs Walker suffered ‘frankly horrific’ injuries and could have survived had she not been ‘abandoned without any assistance’, Michael Auty KC, prosecuting, said.
Vasile Culea in a Betfred store in Shirebrook hours before the attack (Picture: Derbyshire Police / SWNS)© Provided by Metro
Kenneth Walker died shortly after his wife’s murder (Picture: Derbyshire Police / SWNS)© Provided by Metro
The perpetrator had already admitted to the manslaughter of Mrs Walker and the grievous bodily harm of her husband
Prosecutors said he fabricated ‘a nonsense’ cover-up for an attack they said went ‘far beyond any justification; savage in its nature — and sustained’.
He claimed he injured Mrs Walker after ‘slipping’ on a spilt drink and stepping on her chest as she had ‘fallen over’ during the attack.
Culea was arrested six days after the attack at a property in Grove Road, Church Warsop — just a short drive from the Walkers’ address in Station Road.
A jury of 11 men and one woman unanimously convicted Culea of murdering Mrs Walker but not guilty of the attempted murder of her husband.
They also found him guilty of causing Mr Walker grievous bodily harm with intent after just two hours and 15 minutes.
Culea will be sentenced at Derby Crown Court on Friday.