AN 85-YEAR-OLD great-grandmother found dead at her home following a ‘cowardly assault’ has been described by neighbours as ‘the nicest person you could hope to meet’.
Rosina Coleman was discovered by a handyman in her £400,000 bungalow in Romford, east London, around 11.30am on Tuesday.
A murder investigation is under way, with a post-mortem examination expected to be carried out today.
Yesterday, a forensics tent was seen in the garden of her house while a tarpaulin was drawn across one of the windows.
Police officers searched nearby drains and bushes while forensics teams worked inside.
Det Insp Paul Considine, of the homicide and major crime command, called for help in finding her killer.
He said: ‘This is a despicable incident in which the victim, an elderly lady who lived alone, had been subjected to a cowardly assault that left her with serious injuries. It is imperative that we find those responsible for this horrendous offence.’
Mrs Coleman was said to be a mother-of-two, a grandmother of five and also a great-grandmother. She had lived on the road for decades with her late husband Bill.
One friend, who asked not to be named, said: ‘It’s such a sad thing. I can’t get my head around it.
‘I can’t think of anybody that would want to harm her.
‘She was a seamstress and still made all her own clothes. She made a suit a week; an incredible person.
‘She lost her husband around 11 years ago and took it terribly. She couldn’t face the world.’
Alan Mckeown, 68, who used to be a neighbour of Mrs Coleman’s daughter and son-in-law, said she was ‘the nicest person you could hope to meet’.
‘I thought she must have had a heart attack or something,’ he said. ‘I didn’t dream of anything like this. It’s barbaric, absolutely barbaric.’
Jackie Harwood, 72, would meet Mrs Coleman on Saturdays for British Legion events in Romford. She said: ‘She was a lovely person who was always happy, always dancing. She would cook bread pudding and bring it in for everyone. She would always talk about her family. This is just terrible — everybody is shocked.’
Police said Mrs Coleman’s family have been informed and, as of last night, there had been no arrests. Det Insp Considine said the attack was likely to have taken place between 7.30am and 11.30am on Tuesday.
‘I want to ask anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious to call police immediately,’ he said.