Burglar must serve at least 34 years for ‘sadistic’ murder of woman, 89

A burglar has been sentenced to a minimum term of 34 years in prison for the “sexual or sadistic” murder of an 89-year-old widow in her own bed.

Reece Dempster, 23, looked to the floor and nodded to the judge as he was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday for breaking into the home of “independent” and “feisty” Dorothy Woolmer while she slept, in August last year, brutally attacking the victim.

The thug, who said he had been drinking gin and smoking crack beforehand, sexually assaulted the elderly woman, who was less than 5ft tall and had bone condition osteoporosis, and battered her around the head and body, inflicting fatal injuries.

The judge, Mr Justice Edis, appeared emotional as he praised Mrs Woolmer’s family for their dignity in sitting through proceedings.

Regularly making eye contact with Dempster as he read out his sentence, the judge said: “I have no doubt your behaviour was influenced by your consumption of drink and crack cocaine, but that does not excuse what you did.

“Actually, it makes it worse.

Tottenham murder
Dorothy Woolmer (Metropolitan Police/PA)

“She (Mrs Woolmer) was tiny and defenceless and you knew that.

“Because of you, she died an unimaginably dreadful death.

“You seemed to have killed her for pleasure in your drunken state, the murder involved sexual or sadistic conduct.

“You are a very dangerous man.”

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