Man found guilty of murdering elderly woman with lawnmower cord in allotment dispute

Lawnmower

Eighty-year-old Lea Adri-Soejoko. Image: Metropolitan Police/PA

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A 42-year-old man has been found guilty of murdering an elderly woman with a lawnmower cord in order to avoid being thrown off his allotment.

Rahim Mohammadi strangled 80-year-old allotment secretary, Lea Adri-Soejoko, before hiding her body in a locked mower shed at Colindale allotments.

It is believed the pair had previously clashed due to Mr Mohammadi's ambitions to one day take over the day-to-day running of the Colindale site in north London.

Rahim Mohammadi. Image: Metropolitan Police/PA

Mr Mohammadi, from Hackney in north London, was found guilty of her murder following a retrial at the Old Bailey.

The court heard that during a heated discussion over evictions, Mr Mohammadi had called Ms Adri-Soejoko a "bloody old witch", and beat her up, causing bruises and fractures to the ribs.

Prosecutor John Price QC alleged he then throttled her with the mower cord to stop her from reporting the attack, which would have led to his eviction.

Mr Price told jurors that Mr Mohammadi, an Iranian who sought political asylum in Britain in 2005, had a reputation for having a "volatile" temper.

The mower shed where Lea Adri-Soejoko was found. Image: Metropolitan Police/PA

He had been involved with the allotment since 2008 through Freedom from Torture, an organisation helping torture victims suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The prosecution said Mr Mohammadi had planned to move her body to avoid suspicion being cast at him, but police followed the sound of her ringing phone and found the body before he could act.

His DNA was found on the cord used to strangle her and he was caught on CCTV coming and going from the allotment, jurors were told.