Debt-Ridden Handyman Paul Prause Pleads Guilty To Murder Of 85-Year-Old Rosina Coleman

A handyman has been sentenced to life after admitting bludgeoning an 85-year-old woman to death in her own home.

Convicted burglar Paul Prause, 65, attacked former seamstress Rosina Coleman at her home in Romford, east London.

After stealing her diamond ring he then called police, claiming to have found the body, on May 15 of this year.

Judge Philip Katz QC jailed him for life with a minimum term of 22 years.

He described the wounds inflicted on the vulnerable victim as “sickening”, telling Prause: “Your attack with a hammer was brutal and sustained long enough for her to have defensive wounds.

“Her terror can only be imagined. There were at least 11 blows with severe force.”

Police at the time described the murder as a “cowardly attack”. A post-mortem gave the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and neck. 


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Rosina Coleman.

Neighbours had described Coleman as “incredible” and someone who was “always happy”. 

The former seamstress was a mother of two and had lived on the road for decades with her husband Bill, who died about 11 years ago.

One elderly friend, who did not wish to be named, said at the time of the murder: “It’s such a sad thing. I can’t get my head around it.”

Officers found she had “plainly sustained severe trauma all over her body”, Polnay said.

An “untidy search” had been carried out in her bedroom, the court heard.

In police interviews, Prause was challenged about his initial account and eventually told officers the had gone round for a cup of tea and as he was leaving Coleman told him to “grow up for f****** sod”.

He claimed that made him so angry that he hit her around the head with a hammer and had felt rage and could not stop himself and continued hitting her until she was dead, he told police.

Afterwards, he told police that he had staged the bedroom to make it look like a burglary.

Prause said he had hidden belongings in his house, including…

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