A MAN has been found guilty of battering a pensioner to death following Hampshire’s first double jeopardy trial.
Matthew Hamlen, 37, was tried for a second time accused of the murder of 77-year-old Georgina Edmonds.
Today jurors at Winchester Crown Court found him guilty following a six-week trial.
Mrs Edmonds, aged 77, was found murdered in her home on Kiln Lane, Brambridge, on January 11 2008.
In 2010 Hamlen, of Camborne Close, Eastleigh, was charged with her murder but was found not guilty following a trial in January 2012.
In 2014 officers discovered new and compelling DNA evidence which linked Hamlen to the case, and following applications to the Court of Appeal, the acquittal was quashed and officers were able to charge Hamlen for a second time and bring him to re-trial.
Detective Superintendent, Dick Pearson, said: ‘Throughout this entire investigation we have been absolutely determined to prove, beyond doubt, who committed this horrific crime.
‘After the discovery of new evidence and presenting it to the Court of Appeal we were able to try Hamlen again for the murder of Georgina Edmonds.
‘Today, the jury’s verdict was that he was guilty of that brutal crime.
‘The whole prosecution team were determined to find justice for Georgina and today that has been achieved.
‘I would like to praise Georgina’s family who have trusted us to find her killer since those tragic events on January 11, 2008. Hamlen has never admitted his guilt, which has forced her son, Harry, her daughter, Doddie, and her wider family and friends to sit through two crown court trials and hear the traumatic details of that day, over and over again.
‘They have all been incredibly strong.
‘The entire team of police officers, police staff, prosecution barristers, forensic scientists, and colleagues from the Crown Prosecution Service have been absolutely dedicated to putting together the best possible case and presenting the facts to the jury.
‘Every moment has been worth it to finally see Hamlen behind bars and justice served.’
Hampshire’s police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes said: ‘The conviction of Matthew Hamlen of having brutally murdered Georgina Edmonds eight years ago finally brings justice to the victim’s family.
‘It bears testament to the tireless dedication and determination of the Hampshire Constabulary investigation team led by Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson, who pursued every angle and never gave up.
‘Their professionalism and commitment in working with criminal justice partners and forensic scientists is truly commendable.
‘This is the first double-jeopardy trial in Hampshire where the same person was tried a second time following new compelling evidence.
‘Achieving a guilty verdict four years after Hamlen was first acquitted finally gives Georgina’s family the chance of closure, as much as one can gain closure after such a horrific crime.’