Man locked up over ‘wicked’ care home killing of 93-year-old widow

Grandmother-of-five Eileen Dean was attacked with a crutch in her bedroom at Fieldside in Catford, south London.

Emily Pennink
Monday 20 December 2021 11:48
Eileen Dean (Met Police/PA)
Eileen Dean (Met Police/PA)

A man who beat a 93-year-old widow to death at a care home has been locked up in hospital indefinitely.

Alexander Rawson, 63, used a crutch to attack “kind and caring” grandmother-of-five Eileen Dean in her bedroom at Fieldside in Catford south London on January 3.

Afterwards, Rawson phoned 999 in a state of distress and agitation, and said: “I think somebody’s been killed and I don’t know what’s happening.”

Mrs Dean, who had been self-isolating with Covid-19, suffered multiple fractures to facial bones and traumatic brain injury, and died in hospital.

The court heard how Rawson had moved into the bedroom next door to Mrs Dean in late December last year.

Alexander Rawson was handed a hospital order without limit of time after killing Eileen Dean (Met Police/PA)

Previously, he had been detained under the Mental Health Act and been an in-patient at two south London hospitals since last July.

Rawson, who suffers a degenerative brain condition commonly associated with alcohol abuse, was found unfit to stand trial for murder.

Following a trial of the facts at the Old Bailey he was found by a jury to have attacked and killed Mrs Dean.

On Monday, Mrs Dean’s daughter Georgina Hampshaw wept as she told the court she felt “let down” by social services and the care home.

Reading a victim impact statement, Mrs Hampshaw described her mother as a kind, cheerful and energetic lady who “never lost her sense of humour”.

In her prime, Mrs Dean had loved music halls, where she met her late husband Charlie, and her “party piece” was the Charleston dance, the court heard.

Following the attack, Mrs Hampshaw told the court the mother-of-three had been left almost unrecognisable.

Mrs Hampshaw struggled to understand how “such a wicked and callous crime had happened to her – especially committed in a care home where I thought she was safe and being cared for and protected”.

She added: “My mum’s life should never have ended this way.”

Judge Alexia Durran handed Rawson a hospital order without limit of time.

The judge said he posed an ongoing threat to the public, citing his threats of violence with a butter knife, scissors and walking stick.

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