Burglar who set fire to the body of retired nurse in South Norwood home guilty of murder
A burglar who attacked the owner of a home and set her body on fire has been found guilty of murder.
Aaron Fyle, 29, left the property after setting fire to 74-year-old pensioner Eulin Hastings as she lay injured at the bottom of the stairs inside. He went on to burgle another house a few streets away that same afternoon.
Today (Thursday, 19 December) Fyle was found guilty of murder after a trial at the Old Bailey. He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and possessing an offensive weapon.
Fyle entered Mrs Hastings’ South Norwood home in Birchanger Road on the afternoon of 10 January 2017 by standing on a wheelie bin and smashing the glass in a rear patio door.
When the victim, a retired nurse, confronted him, Fyle hit her over the head. He then set fire to her body, and went in search of his next property to burgle.
A mother who was with her baby managed to raise the alarm by calling the police when Fyle entered her nearby home in Davidson Road. After a five-hour stand-off with police, where Fyle went on to the roof of a house, he was eventually arrested with a knife threatening to harm himself.
Emma Currie, from the CPS, said: “As a career criminal Fyle went to vast lengths to satiate his malicious greed. It ended devastatingly, with the death of a 74-year-old grandmother in her own home.
“Throughout the burglary of Mrs Hasting’s home, Fyle wreaked havoc: a glass lamp was broken, a jewellery box was emptied and her personal belongings were strewn across the floor.
“Having set fire to Mrs Hastings, Fyle left his victim alone in her house, and sought out his next victim just some 400 metres away.
“The defendant appeared so casual and relaxed that his second victim thought he must have been a friend of her husband at first.
“The lengths that Fyle went to for his own greed resulted in burgled homes and a woman’s life callously cut short. He will now have to face justice for his actions. I hope this conviction goes some way in providing comfort to the family of Eulin Hastings.”
Fyle will be sentenced on Friday 10 January 2020.
Notes to editors
- Aaron Fyle [03.10.1990] is from South Norwood in the London borough of Croydon
- Emma Currie is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the Homicide unit in CPS London North.