A “prolific” burglar has been sentenced life imprisonment for murdering a “pillar of the community” retired midwife in her own home.
Aaron Fyle, 29, murdered 74-year-old Eulin Hastings on January 10 2017 while burgling her property in south east London, before going on to commit further crimes just hours later.
He was caught in a dramatic chase across the rooftops and gardens of the area.
A hearing at the Old Bailey was told how a neighbour noticed smoke coming from Ms Hasting’s home and the London Fire Brigade (LFB) attended to find the victim lying on the hallway floor.
They extinguished the fire and paramedics also attended but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police found that her bedroom had been ransacked and the coffee table had been smashed – it also appeared that an intruder had entered by smashing the rear French doors.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Ms Hastings was killed by a traumatic head injury that appeared to have been inflicted during an assault and had already stopped breathing before the fire was started.
Eulin Hastings was a midwife for 30 years
Meanwhile, on the same day, another burglary was reported at a nearby address – police identified the suspect and pursued him in a rooftop chase.
He was arrested and later identified as Aaron Fyle.
Fyle became a person of interest in the earlier murder case due to the close proximity of the crimes and further investigation showed that some of his DNA was under Ms Hastings’ fingernail and her DNA was found on his jacket.
The defendant had been remanded to prison for other burglary offences and was charged on August 8 2018 with murder and one count of burglary.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard said Fyle was a “predator” who would “roam the streets” looking for targets.
Aaron Fyle has 'shown no remorse' according to police
He added that he had “no doubt” that Fyle had burgled Ms Hastings’ home, killed her and then caused the fire to cover up his crime.
“It shows the depth of this man’s depravity that just a short while later, he was burgling another home.
“Fyle has shown no remorse whatsoever and I am thankful that he has been convicted and the long sentence is fully justified.”
Fyle has been sentenced to serve 31 years behind bars.
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