Killer who murdered 89-year-old in Tottenham home jailed for life with minimum 34 years

|News, Violent crime , Sexual offences

A violent killer who sexually assaulted and murdered an 89-year-old woman in her own north London home has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 34 years.

Reece Dempster, 23, made his way into widow Dorothy Woolmer’s home in Tottenham while she slept in her bed between 3 and 4 August 2019.

He attacked her, violently and sexually, using a truncheon, before stealing two bottles of alcohol and her purse.

Hours later he confessed his involvement in the violence, telling a witness: “I only got a hundred quid - it wasn’t even worth it.”

Mrs Woolmer, known as Dot, had lived alone following the death of her husband some two years before, and was relatively independent. The attack left her with catastrophic injuries including multiple fractures and head injuries. She was found dead the following morning by her friend and sister who arrived to drop over some groceries and check on her.

Today (Thursday, 6 February 2020) at the Old Bailey Dempster was sentenced for burglary, murder and two counts of sexual assault by penetration. Dempster had admitted to burglary at an earlier hearing and pleaded guilty to the other counts three days into his trial.

Kristen Katsouris, from the CPS, said: “This was a brutal attack on a vulnerable and innocent elderly lady in her own home where she should have been safe.

“Reece Dempster let himself into Dorothy Woolmer’s home and carried out heinous crimes against her. 

“He claimed to not remember what happened and to have ‘blacked out’ due to excessive alcohol and drug consumption, but the overwhelming prosecution evidence against him meant that he admitted the truth that his vile actions were deliberate and planned.

“This was an incredibly difficult and heart-breaking case and nothing can bring Mrs Woolmer back. Our thoughts remain with her family and friends.”

Notes to editors

  • Reece Dempster (DOB: 05/10/1996) is from Tottenham in the London borough of Haringey.
  • Kristen Katsouris is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the homicide team at CPS London North.

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