Man found guilty in 'double jeopardy' murder trial to be jailed for life


An electrician will be sentenced to life imprisonment after he was found guilty following a "double jeopardy" trial for the "brutal" murder of a 77-year-old woman in her home.

Matthew Hamlen, 37, was found guilty on Tuesday of the murder of Georgina Edmonds at Winchester Crown Court - four years after he was acquitted of the same crime.

Mrs Edmonds was beaten to death with her marble rolling pin at her home where she lived alone in the village of Brambridge, Hampshire, on January 11 2008.

She had been stabbed 37 times and beaten as she was tortured for her debit card PIN number by Hamlen who attempted to use it in a cash machine later that night.

The jury of nine men and three women took four hours to reach their guilty verdict.

The jury of the previous trial had found him not guilty in January 2012.

The second trial was brought after further DNA evidence was found linking Hamlen to the crime scene.

Tapings taken from the victim's clothing produced a DNA sample which was 26 million times more like to come from Hamlen than from someone else.

Speaking outside the court following the verdict, Mrs Edmonds' son, Harry, 60, compared the case to an Agatha Christie mystery and called for the death penalty to be reinstated.

He said: "It has contained almost as many twists and turns as an Agatha Christie thriller. The investigation has lasted eight long years and, sadly, was not a tale written to entertain people but the true story of a wicked and vicious crime - the torture and murder of a frail and elderly lady in the sanctity of her home - and of the dedicated men and women of Hampshire Constabulary who pursued this devious and vicious murderer and, thank God, finally brought him to justice."

He continued: "I should remind you Matthew Hamlen stabbed my mother 37 times and then beat her to death with a marble rolling pin.

"The death penalty is no longer a sentencing option for judges in this country and in my view it is a matter of great regret that we can no longer execute the loathsome individuals who commit crimes of this magnitude."

Michael Bowes QC, prosecuting, had told the trial that as well as the new DNA evidence, a mixed DNA profile was also found on the rolling pin that was used to bludgeon Mrs Edmonds to death.

This profile was 800 times more likely to come from a combination of Mrs Edmonds, the defendant and another person than coming from the victim and two other people, Mr Bowes said.

Mr Bowes said that mobile phone analysis also placed Hamlen, from Bishopstoke, Hampshire, close to the place of the murder on the same day.

Hamlen had denied the murder and told police he "couldn't remember" if he had been to the scene of the murder on the day Mrs Edmonds was killed.