Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

'Evil' addict gets life for murder of blind Irish OAP

An "evil" woman has been jailed for life for battering a blind 91-year-old Irishman to death with a bottle of wine.

Melanie Cole (49) hit retired builder William Reilly over the head with a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, four days after last Christmas.

Mr Reilly was found covered in blood sitting on the edge of his bed by his son James at their home in Tower Gardens, Tottenham, north London.

He suffered head and face injuries after he was clubbed with the full bottle of wine and then a bottle of liqueur, the Old Bailey heard.

The Mayo-born pensioner, registered blind and almost completely deaf, died a week later in hospital after developing pneumonia.

Detective Chief Inspector Steven Lawrence said outside court: "Melanie Cole is an evil woman. Bill was a well-known figure in the local community. He was a hardworking family man who had worked up until the age of 78 years old as a builder.

"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."

Cole, Islington, north London, was found guilty of murder.

Judge David Paget told her: "It may be that you will never be released and may die in prison.

"You battered to death a 91-year-old man in his home in order to get money from him for drink or drugs. It may have been only £20.

"What is truly shocking is the brutality of what you did."

It was the third time Cole had appeared at the Old Bailey charged with murder.

She was formally acquitted of murder in 2005 when two juries failed to reach verdicts in the case of Robin Williams (47).

Mr Williams was hit over the head with a bottle and stabbed. He was found in a bath at his Tottenham home.

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