Twins guilty of killing step-gran

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The Independent Online

Twin brothers have been convicted of killing their step-grandmother, who was beaten to death while they ransacked her home.

Robert and Jonathan Maskell asked their mother for permission to leave their 18th birthday party before breaking into the home of Anjelica Hallwood, a 74-year-old widow.

Mrs Hallwood was punched in the face and strangled by the brothers' accomplice, Dwane Johnston, 19, at her home in Edmonton, north London. They returned to the party afterwards. Their victim was found the next morning by her daughter, Joan.

A jury at the Old Bailey heard the identical twins and Johnston, who was the boyfriend of Mrs Hallwood's grand-daughter, had plotted the burglary in January 2004 after hearing she had £3,000 stashed away.

CCTV pictures taken in local shops the following day showed the Maskells smiling as though they did not have a care in the world, while spending the stolen cash on new mobile phones.

The three men were cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. The brothers were also found guilty of robbery, an offence to which Johnston had pleaded guilty.

They were remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 31 January.