Islington woman jailed for murdering pensioner with bottle

A murderer who brutally battered a helpless 91-year-old man with a wine bottle to feed her drink and drugs addiction is facing a life sentence.

Melanie Cole, 49, of Culford Road, Islington – who was cleared of another murder six years ago – threatened frail William Reilly with a knife at his home in Tottenham on December 29 before subjecting him to the prolonged and vicious assault in his bedroom.

She repeatedly clubbed the retired builder and grandfather over the head, inflicting multiple skull and facial fractures.

The mum-of-three, who was this week described as “evil” by the detective in the case, had previously been in a relationship with one of Mr Reilly’s sons and had gone to the address in a bid to rekindle her relationship.

But he was not in and Cole instead attacked his partially blind and almost completely deaf dad who walked with the aid of a walking stick and Zimmer frame. She stole �80 from his pension money which she immediately spent on a rock of crack cocaine.

Mr Reilly’s son James found his dad covered in blood when he returned home later that evening and he was rushed to the Royal London Hospital where he died on January 6. A poste mortem established he died from a head trauma and pneumonia.

Cole denied murder and insisted that she left him in front of the television.

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But she was convicted of murder at the Old Bailey after a jury unanimously found her guilty following a two-week trial.

Jailing Cole for 30 years Judge David Paget QC said she could die behind bars.

In the same court in 2005 Cole walked free after she was cleared of murdering her landlord Robin Williams, 47, when juries in two trials failed to reach verdicts in her case.

DCI Steven Lawrence said “ Bill was a well known figure in the local community. He was a widower with three sons and six grandchildren whose life was sacrificed in order to feed Cole’s addiction to drink and drugs.

“Melanie Cole is an evil woman and I am pleased with the jury’s unanimous verdict. Although nothing can bring back Bill, I hope today’s sentence will help in some way to alleviate the family’s loss.”