Man in court accused of murdering Lea Adri-Soejoko in a Colindale allotment

Lea Adri-Soejoko (Pic: Met Police)

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

An elderly grandmother was strangled with a lawnmower cord in a “cold-blooded” bid to cover up a shocking assault by a fellow allotment holder in Colindale, a court has heard.

The body of 80-year-old 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.

The secretary of Colindale Allotment Association was found half an hour after she was reported missing by colleagues, the Old Bailey heard today,

She had suffered fractured ribs and bruises from being “beaten up” by Rahim Mohammadi, 41, from Hackney, who is accused of murdering her.

To stop Mrs Adri Soejoko reporting the assault, he allegedly throttled her with the starter cord of a Mountfield lawnmower stored in the lock-up where she was found, the court heard.

Prosecutor John Price QC told jurors that Mohammadi spent five hours at the allotment on the day of the killing and had been seen by two other plot holders.

As a committee member, he had his own key to the mower shed which had been locked from the outside with Mrs Adri-Soejoko’s body inside, with her keys in her pocket.

Most Read

Mr Price said the motive for the killing was to prevent the detection of a “very serious” assault on the elderly victim.

He said: “Whereas the killing of Mrs Adri-Soejoko was carried out with cold-blooded deliberation, the other blunt force injuries speak of a more spontaneous use of violence.

“In a phrase, Mrs Adri-Soejoko was beaten up. That in turn does point, it is submitted, to a motive for her murder - to avoid detection for a shocking and very serious assault on a vulnerable old lady.”

The lawyer said it suggested the victim knew her attacker and would have been able to identify them.

Mr Price said Mrs Adri-Soejoko had a “passion” for her allotment, which was a short walk from the home where she lived with her granddaughter.

Despite her age, she was said to be in very good health and led a “full and active life”.

The defendant had had a plot on the allotment since 2013 and was also a “very keen and active” user of the site, jurors heard.

Mr Price told jurors that DNA from the defendant was found on the part of lawnmower cord he allegedly used to strangle her.

The defendant denies murder. The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.