Man Cleared Of Georgina Edmonds Murder

A man's been found not guilty of murdering Hampshire pensioner Georgina Edmonds.

Electrician Matthew Hamlen, 33, denied he was the killer of the 77-year-old throughout the three-month trial at Winchester Crown Court.

His defence team told the jury that the prosecution case against Hamlen was circumstantial and there was no direct link to him and the January 2008 killing at the cottage in Brambridge, Hampshire.

After 12 hours of deliberations, the 11-strong jury agreed and acquitted him. Hamlen showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered.

The prosecution had alleged that Hamlen, from Bishopstoke near Eastleigh, went to the house and tortured Mrs Edmonds for her bank card pin code before using a marble rolling pin to murder her.

She was discovered in a pool of blood in the kitchen by her son Harry and two estate workers after the house was found to be in darkness.

The judge, Sir David Clarke, thanked the jury and then said of the family of Mrs Edmonds:

"They have the sympathy of everybody in court for their sad loss and for the stress from the last four years, and I recognise that stress is not over.''

A Hampshire police spokeswoman said: ''The police, Crown Prosecution Service and prosecuting counsel have worked tirelessly to put together and present the evidence they believe demonstrates who was responsible for this shocking crime.

''The investigation has been one of the biggest murder inquiries ever conducted by Hampshire Constabulary.

''It is the policy of Hampshire Constabulary that unsolved homicides are never closed.

''This investigation will be reviewed in accordance with the criteria set out under national guidelines.

''Our thoughts are with Mrs Edmonds' family and members of the local community who still seek some form of closure and to see justice done.''

Ian Harris, head of CPS Wessex complex casework unit, said:

"This was a very complex case and the jury, after hearing the prosecution and the defence case, has reached today's verdict. We respect its decision.''

Hamlen left the court without commenting to reporters.