An allotment holder who strangled an elderly widow with a lawnmower cord has been jailed for life.
Iranian immigrant Rahim Mohammadi, 42, killed Lea Adri-Soejoko, 80, because he feared he would be thrown off his plot at Colindale Allotments in north London.
Police followed the sound of allotment secretary Mrs Adri-Soejok’s mobile phone and discovered her body in a locked shed, wearing Wellington boots and an apron, last February.
Mohammadi, from Hackney, north London, was found guilty of her murder following a retrial at the Old Bailey.
Sentencing him to life with a minimum term of 19 years, Judge Richard Marks QC said: ‘How bitterly ironic that the place she loved so much – the allotment – was the place she met her death.’
Mohammadi, a regular opium user, killed Mrs Adri-Soejoko in a ‘violent loss of temper’, the court previously heard.
The judge said: ‘It goes without saying although Lea was fit for her age, she was an elderly lady and as such confronted and attacked by you as she was, was vulnerable in the extreme.’
Mohammadi had been involved with the allotment since 2008 through Freedom from Torture, an organisation helping torture victims suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
In September 2016, he clashed with Mrs Adri-Soejoko at ah allotment association meeting.
Mohammadi had the ambitions to take over running the allotment, which made Mrs Adri-Soejoko wary of him.
During a heated discussion over evictions, she had told him to ‘shut up’ and Mohammadi called her a ‘bloody old witch’, the court heard.
In February last year, Mohammadi beat up Mrs Adri-Soejoko on the allotment, causing bruises and fractures to her ribs.
The prosecution then said he throttled her with the mower flex to stop her from reporting the attack, which would have led to his eviction.
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.
The court heard Mohammadi sought political asylum in Britain in 2005 and was given indefinite leave to remain in 2010.