Convicted rapist and kidnapper Graeme Jarman has been sentenced to life with a minimum of 35 years in prison for murdering a frail pensioner.
Jarman, 48, beat 77-year-old Judith Richardson to death with a hammer at her home before stealing her handbag and selling her jewellery for just £300.
At Newcastle Crown Court, a jury of six men and six women took over seven hours of deliberation to find him guilty by a majority of eleven to one following a three-week trial.
Jarman tricked the pensioner, from Hexham, Northumberland, into opening her front door by showing her Age UK charity leaflets before inflicting more than 30 blows to her head.
Robert Smith QC, prosecuting, told Newcastle Crown Court it was not a random attack, and Jarman selected his victim the day before.
Miss Richardson’s handbag was found stuffed in a bin in Newcastle city centre hours after she was killed on August 19, 2011.
When two officers travelled to her home to return it, they found her body lying in a pool of blood.
The leaflets were found in the hall of her home after her death and Jarman's fingerprint was found on one of them.
A sample taken from a blood-stained tissue found in Miss Richardson’s home matched Jarman’s DNA.
Jarman, of Consett, County Durham, fled Hexham using public transport and sold jewellery on to a Newcastle shop hours later.
Jarman used a hammer he stole from a Hexham department store to kill Miss Richardson.
Following the murder, Jarman went on the run and a nationwide manhunt was launched.
He was arrested two weeks later in Filey, North Yorkshire, after police circulated his description and he was spotted in a library by a member of the public.Justice Openshaw sentenced Jarman to life imprisonment and told him he must serve a minimum of 35 years behind bars.
Mr Justice Openshaw said: "Miss Richardson suffered truly telling injuries. It was a most brutal and wicked murder.
"Throughout the police interviews the defendant denied his guilt. He has not showed the slightest remorse."
Justice Openshaw said that Jarman had committed a countless number of offences against women and said it was clear he presented an extreme danger to them.
Jarman was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 35 years from which will be deducted the 301 days he has already spent in custody.
Justice Openshaw praised the work of the police force and the public in helping to catch Jarman.
After Jarman was sentenced, Miss Richardson's family released a statement.
It said: "We are very grateful for the support we have received and would like to thank the police, the CPS and those involved, including witnesses who have generously given up their time, not just to provide police statements but to give evidence in court.
"Also the family liasion officers who have made sure we have been kept updated at every opportunity."
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