Stamford Hill pensioner case to be retried

A pub cleaner accused of leaving a Stamford Hill pensioner to die after allegedly binding and gagging her is to be retried after a jury could not reach a verdict.

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.

Prosecutors at a three-week trial last month said her five-bedroom house had been "ransacked" after two burglars broke into the basement using tools.

Kuba Dlugosz, a 33-year-old Polish decorator, was convicted of her manslaughter after his DNA was found on chisels left by the basement door.

But the Old Bailey jury could not reach a verdict on the second defendant, 26-year-old Szymon Wyrostek.

During the trial, 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, 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, who denies manslaughter, robbery and burglary, will be retried on December 12.

Last updated: 11:28am, July 1 2011