Man found guilty of Stamford Hill pensioner killing

Kuba Dlugosz

Kuba Dlugosz

A Polish decorator has been found guilty of manslaughter after he left an elderly Stamford Hill woman gagged and bound to a chair while he raided her home.

Eveline Kelmenson, 83, died a "slow death" of hypothermia and lay undiscovered for five weeks before she was found by relatives on New Year's Day 2009, her decomposed body still bound to a chair in her bedroom.

Her five-bedroom house had been "ransacked" after two burglars broke into the basement using tools, an Old Bailey jury heard last week.

They stole a gold necklace and wedding ring, a family heirloom belonging to Miss Kelmenson's mother, who arrived in England from Russia in the late 1800s.

Miss Kelmenson, who had never married, lived in the house in Leweston Place, for more than 50 years, the last of which had been "pretty solitary" since the death of her nine siblings.

A year after she was discovered, police offered a £20,000 reward for information about her death.

Kuba Dlugosz, 33, was convicted today of her manslaughter.

His DNA was found on chisels left by the basement door. He has previously committed crimes in Poland, where he tied up two caretakers at schools in his hometown of Bialystok.

In October 2008, he broke into Sharon's Bakery in Stamford Hill, where he had worked as a decorator. Police identified him in that incident from DNA found on a segment of a plastic glove recovered at the scene.

Dlugosz, who is 6ft 6in tall and attended court in a grey tracksuit, refused to give evidence in his defence during the three-week trial.

The jury, made up of seven woman and five men, also found him guilty of robbery and burglary.

They are still considering a verdict on his co-defendant, Szymon Wyrostek, 26.

Jonathan Laidlaw QC, prosecuting, said that when Mr Wyrostek was arrested in September 2010, he told police as he was driven to the station: "I did not murder her, we went there for money. We put masking tape around her feet, you know masking tape?"

But defending Mr Wyrostek, Sally O'Neill QC, said that the police in this case had been "very anxious" to obtain a conviction and that they had "made up" the confession.

"I don't want to start up some great conspiracy theory but what followed in the car is unreliable evidence," she said.

"I criticise the police for an attempt to try to fabricate evidence against someone."

Through an interpreter, Mr Wyrostek, a pub cleaner who has a one-year-old baby, said he had never been to Miss Kelmenson's house or heard of the street but was accused during his cross-examination, of "lying to the jury".

Mr Wyrostek denies manslaughter, robbery and burglary.

Last updated: 9:36am, June 24 2011