Man who viciously beat pensioner to death in bungled burglary jailed 34 years
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A burglar who tied up and brutally assaulted a pensioner in Langwith Junction has been jailed for more than three decades.
Vasile Culea admitted he had broken into Kenneth and Freda Walker’s Station Road home on Friday 14 January 2022.
He had heard the couple had a significant amount of money in the home they had shared for more than 60 years.
But when the couple either could not, or would not, give Culea the money, he brutally assaulted them. The pair were unable to fight back after he had bound their hands and feet and even placed bags over Freda’s head.
He was seen on CCTV to calmly walk away from the couple’s house where he had left Freda fatally wounded – and Kenneth fighting for his life.
The couple were found the following morning by a concerned neighbour. Freda was dead and Kenneth was in a critical condition.
Culea’s DNA was found on a cap in the Walker’s house – and officers arrested the 34-year-old on Thursday 20 January at his home in Church Warsop.
Following his arrest detectives tracked his movements on Friday 14 January, with footage showing Culea scoping out Freda and Kenneth’s home throughout the afternoon.
The case built by the detectives in the Major Crime Unit meant that Culea had no other choice to admit his presence in the house – but he denied he intended to kill the couple.
The jury of 11 men and one woman sitting at Derby Crown Court did not believe him, finding him guilty of Freda’s murder.
On the charge of the attempted murder of Kenneth the jury found him not guilty – but did find him guilty of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm with intent.
Today (Friday 28 October) Culea was sentenced to 34 years’ imprisonment.
Temporary Detective Inspector Carolyne Van Schaick, who helped lead the investigation, said: “While today’s sentencing can never reverse Culea’s actions I hope it provides some degree of closure for Freda and Ken’s family and friends.
“His actions have devastated an entire community and, while Ken may have survived the attack, he had lost his wife and lived out his remaining days requiring constant care before he sadly passed away shortly before this case was due to be heard.
“I would like to once again thank the family of both Ken and Freda who have shown immense courage throughout what has been such a difficult time, as well as the community of Shirebrook who have supported each other, and this investigation, throughout.”