A homeless man has been found guilty of killing an elderly woman who took him in and burning her body on a bonfire, a court heard.

Allan Scott, 42, had been lodging with 83-year-old Patricia Holland at her home in Gorleston, Norfolk.

Mrs Holland was a ‘charitable woman concerned with people who were down on their luck and the homeless’, prosecutor David Spens KC told Norwich Crown Court.

After first meeting Scott in 2020 after they met while he was selling his paintings outside a shop, Mrs Holland ‘offered him a roof over his head’, the jury heard.

But before long Scott became aggressive towards Mrs Holland and eventually she wanted him to leave.

He retaliated by killing Mrs Holland on the night of July 24, 2021.

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,’ Mr Spens said.

‘He would be liable for eviction.

‘The prosecution case is that 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 admitted preventing a lawful burial and he was found guilty following just over two hours of deliberation by the jury.

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 body-worn footage from officers recorded sections of the carpet in the hallway and living room had been cut.

Mrs Holland’s remains were later discovered at the bonfire site in the garden.

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 will be sentenced at a later date.

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2023-03-25T17:50:24Z dg43tfdfdgfd