A woman who bludgeoned a pensioner to death was today jailed for life.
Karen Williamson, 46, was told she will spend a minimum of 24 years in prison for the horrific attack on 86-year-old Jean Jobson, who was known as Pat.
She arrived at Mrs Jobson's house in Downham, south-east London late at night in February last year and beat her with a hammer and a heavy glass jug
Judge Paul Worsley QC told her: "You stand to be sentenced for the brutal murder of an 86-year-old widow who lived on her own. No doubt those remaining years for her were very precious. You took them from her.
"Pat Jobson was an independent, alert, caring member of the community much loved by her family.
"The attack which you carried out was frenzied and brutal. Pat Jobson, despite her age, put up a valiant fight against you."
He said she had carried out the violent attack in order to steal - days after the murder Williamson sold jewellery belonging to Mrs Jobson for a "paltry £61" the court heard.
The judge continued: "It was a murder of a vulnerable 86-year-old woman who was in the sanctity and privacy of her home where she deserved to be able to think that she would be safe. She was not."
He said she had opened the door "trusting you and believing you were a friend".
As she was led away, Williamson called out: "I'm sorry."
Speaking outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons said: "It was one of the most horrific murders I've come across.
"It's a very rare murder that a lady of that age was killed in her own home in that fashion.
"It was a callous murder that saw (Williamson) do a number of things, including stealing a ring, necklace and earring from the dead body of Pat Jobson and later selling them for a measly £61."
He said that the "lingering horror" of her death would stay with her family for a long time.
Her nephew Mark Montgomery said in a victim impact statement: "We can't express the anger we feel towards the person responsible for Pat's horrific murder.
"My entire family are bewildered as to how this ever occurred, especially to Aunty Pat who was loved and respected by so many.
"She was in good health for her age and in no way deserved to have her life cut short in such a cruel and despicable manner."
In mitigation, the court heard that on the day of the murder, Williamson had binged on crack cocaine after being arrested for stalking a former work colleague.
On her way to buy more drugs she decided to stop at Mrs Jobson's house to try to resolve a dispute over gardening work.
Williamson was due to clear the pensioner's garden but had failed to do so.
Alan Kent QC, defending, said: "It may sound hollow coming from me at this very, very late stage but she is truly sorry for what she did.
"She is sorry for committing such an act of brutality, an act that many, including her, would have concluded was the act of an evil person.
"She is not an evil person and she is not an animal, but what she did do was undoubtedly an evil act."
He said that the crack cocaine had caused her to go into a frenzy of violence against Mrs Jobson.
The women were arguing and as Mrs Jobson went to pick up the telephone, Williamson hit her over the head with a hammer, he said.
"It's at that point that she went into a frenzy. She continued to hit Pat Jobson. It was on any view an explosion of violence on the part of the defendant as a result of something that was so minor, so petty that it simply should not have led to that violent outburst."
He said that Williamson was so high on drugs that she did not know if what was happening was real.
Williamson, from Downham, had previously faced trial at the Old Bailey for the murder, but proceedings collapsed.
She then changed her plea three days into the current trial.