A 23-year-old man, Xyaire Howard, was convicted for the murder of Susan Hawkey, a 71-year-old woman from Neasden, north-west London. Howard brutally attacked and strangled Ms. Hawkey to force her to disclose her bank account PIN, subsequently stealing £13,000 from her account. Tragically, her remains were found almost three weeks later in her residence.
The Independent reported that Living nearby, Howard and his girlfriend, Chelsea Grant, 28, had previously robbed Ms. Hawkey on multiple occasions. Both Howard and Grant were taken into custody to await sentencing.
While the couple both confessed to the fraudulent use of Ms. Hawkey’s bank card, Grant was acquitted of the murder charges. However, she was convicted of three robberies and one attempted robbery. Howard had previously confessed to one robbery and was found guilty of an additional robbery and an attempted robbery.
Although Howard confessed to restraining Ms. Hawkey to get her PIN, he insisted she was alive when he departed from her residence. The grim discovery of Ms. Hawkey’s body painted a different picture: her hands were tied, her eyes taped shut, and a ligature was tightly wrapped around her neck.
The prosecution emphasized Ms. Hawkey’s vulnerability, noting her limited interactions with friends or family. Annabel Darlow KC, the prosecutor, commented that the perpetrators had singled out Ms. Hawkey as an “ideal victim”. She further detailed the unsettling state in which Ms. Hawkey’s body was found.
Following the theft, Ms. Hawkey’s bank account significantly dwindled, with the duo extravagantly spending on various luxury items. They also transferred funds to St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean.
The sentencing will be carried out at the Old Bailey on December 8.