Man admits murdering woman in her Colindale home

Nicolae Patraucean pleaded guilty to murder at the Old Bailey

Nicolae Patraucean pleaded guilty to murder at the Old Bailey - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

A 20-year-old who murdered a woman in Colindale leaving her so mutilated that it is still unclear how she died is facing life in jail.

The Old Bailey heard Rivka Holden, 55, suffered horrific wounds at the hands of Nicolae Patraucean at her home in Falcon Way.

When her body was found on March 16 this year police also discovered her red Hyundai, usually parked outside, was missing.

Investigators believe she may have also been subjected to a sex attack by the Romanian national from Stanmore.

Today through an interpreter he admitted her murder.

Prosecutor Timothy Cray asked the court to delay the killer’s sentencing so the exact cause of death can be determined.

He said: “It seems given the circumstances in which the victim was killed, it is vital that we get pathological evidence.

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“There is an issue to whether there had been sexual activity or evidence of sexual assault.’

David Spens QC, defending, insisted Patraucean did not suffer from any mental illness.

He said: “Apart from some self-harm, there is nothing else that we are aware of and indeed the family members who know him well do not speak of any mental illness as such.

“The problem appears to be one that involves the excessive intake of drink and drugs.”

Paying tribute to Israel-born Ms Holden, Julian Mann, from Kingsbury Synagogue, said: “She was very warm and would sometimes drop into us for a chat and something to eat.

“My wife and I enjoyed talking to her.

“She also chatted in Hebrew with my son, who is a Rabbi, and asked which Rabbis she could go to for a blessing for her health.”

Judge Timothy Pontius adjourned sentence until July 25 so the cause of death and suspected sexual assault could be investigated.

Patraucean was remanded in custody.