London

Drug addict jailed for killing great grandmother, 88

Irene Barrett,
Image caption Mrs Barrett had three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren

A drug addict has been jailed for a minimum of 32 years for stabbing a great-grandmother to death in her south-east London home.

Irene Barrett, 88, was found dead at her ransacked flat in Valiant House, Charlton, in May 2010.

Daniel Franklin had left her with 53 wounds and ripped her wedding ring from her finger, the Old Bailey heard.

Franklin, 34, of Felixstowe Road, Abbey Wood, south east London, was found guilty of murder and jailed for life.

The court heard how Franklin used £40 from selling the wedding ring to buy drugs.

Mrs Barrett was found in her 15th-floor flat, which overlooked Charlton Athletic Football Club.

'Bestial attack'

The retired secretary had a son, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

"You inflicted gruesome violence on a frail and vulnerable lady who you described as a second mum," said Judge Richard Hone.

"There must have been a considerable struggle during your bestial attack.

"She must have been fighting for her life for a considerable time and she must have died in a state of terror."

Mrs Barrett's son said in a statement: "We will never get over the dreadful way in which she died.

"My mother deserved a better ending than the one he inflicted on her, which was cowardly and cruel."

The widow had known Franklin most of his life and would give him money to clean her windows, the Old Bailey heard.

The crack addict attacked her after she caught him stealing money or after she refused to give him cash, the prosecution said.

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