BREAKING BRIXTON LONDON

Advances in DNA technology have led to a man being convicted of killing an 85-year-old woman more than 20 years after she died

Junior Young, 39 of no fixed address, was today [Monday, 22 November] found guilty of the manslaughter of Hilda Lockert, who died after being robbed outside of her own front door in Brixton in April 2001. He was also found guilty of robbery. Hilda was approaching the front door of her home at Langport House, Overton Road, SW9 on 30 April 2001 when she was grabbed from behind by her coat and bag. She fell heavily to the ground before two males searched her coat pockets, taking her bag of shopping, her bus pass and her wallet, which contained just £15. The fall left her with multiple injuries including a fractured knee and she was admitted to the hospital where she had an operation. Sadly, she developed a blood clot and died on 15 May 2001, on her 86th birthday. Medical reports concluded that there was a “clear medical and real causal relationship” between the fracture to Hilda’s knee and her death. Following initial enquiries, Young was arrested on 5 June 2001. He denied any involvement in the attack. Forensic analysis of Hilda’s shopping bag and coat at the time found limited evidence that Young was present in a DNA sample, but the match was not strong enough to proceed with any charges. There was also no CCTV of the offence and no witnesses to what had taken place. As part of a review in 2015, the DNA samples from the shopping bag were re-examined, using an extremely sensitive method and specialised software. The scientist carrying out the examination concluded that the DNA sample was 1 billion times more likely to have come from Young, Hilda and another unrelated person than Hilda and two other unrelated people. Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard, from Specialist Crime, said: “Up until this attack, Hilda had been a very independent woman who continued to do all of her own shopping and housework. “Due to her age and the fact she was alone, Young saw her as an easy target and had no regard for the injuries he might cause when he violently robbed her. “Hilda’s sudden death left her family and those who knew her distraught but she has never been forgotten, thanks in part to them naming a street in Brixton after her. “Similarly we in the Met have never stopped fighting for justice for Hilda, despite the passage of time. We are pleased that thanks to advances in science Young now faces a significant custodial sentence and we hope this acts as a reminder to others who think they have evaded justice that we will not give up in our quest to find them.” Young will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Monday, 20 December.