Colindale allotment murder trial: Hackney man accused of strangling Lea Adri-Soejoko with a lawnmower flex

Lea Adri-Soejoko (Pic: Met Police)

Lea Adri-Soejoko (Pic: Met Police) - Credit: Archant

An 80-year-old grandmother’s neck was broken in a “hot-blooded” attack before she was strangled with a lawnmower cord in a Colindale allotment shed, a court heard today.

The body of Lea Adri-Soejoko - also well-known by her maiden name of Lea Hulselmans - was found by police with a flex wrapped around her neck in a locked shed in Sheaveshill Avenue on February 28 2017.

Rahim Mohammadi, 42, of Goldsmith Road, Hackney, stands accused of murdering the elderly widow at an Old Bailey retrial. The first case in February collapsed after a jury failed to reach a decision.

Prosecuter John Price said Mrs Adri-Soejoko, secretary of the Colindale Allotments Association, was “robust, in good health and “she had a full active life” when she was murdered just before her 81st birthday.

Post mortems revealed she had sustained broken ribs and a broken neck prior to being strangled.

He told jurors: “Where the killing of Mrs Adri-Soejoko was carried out with cold-blooded deliberation, the other blunt force injuries speak of a more spontaneous, hot-blooded attack. That does point to a motive to avoid detection for a shocking and very serious blunt force assault on an old lady. The killer was known to her, he knew she could identify him.”

Mrs Adri-Soejoko was reported missing by colleagues on February 28 when she failed to turn up to a meeting in Barnet.

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Despite frantic calls by her daughter and granddaughter there was no answer on her mobile phone.

Police officers immediately searched the allotment while the family continued to phone her. The sound of a mobile phone ringing led them to a small mower shed, padlocked shut.

When they forced open the door they found Mrs Adri-Soejoko’s lifeless body inside, which had been covered with an old blue coat.

She was lying in an absolutely straight line with the plastic handle of a Mountfield lawnmower pressed against her neck and the starter cord used as a ligature and “wrapped tight against her neck”.

Mr Price said DNA evidence has been found on the greasy part of the cord, belonging to both Mohammadi and Mrs Adri-Soejoko’s which was “much closer to the starter motor than to the plastic handle.”

Mrs Adri-Soejoko did not use the lawnmower, he said, adding: “The prosecution submits that in her case the obvious answer has to be that her DNA came to be on the mower starter cord in the course of its use as the weapon applied to her body in order to strangle her.”

Mohammadi denies murder.

The case continues.