London

London man 'robbed and murdered holiday friend'

A pensioner was beaten to death by a man he met on holiday and allowed into his home, the Old Bailey has heard.

Stuart Crawford, of no fixed address, withdrew more than £7,000 from Michael Ryan's bank account while staying with him before killing him, jurors heard.

Mr Ryan's body was found rolled in a carpet and pinned under a bookcase at his home in Sutton, south London.

Mr Crawford, 45, who was extradited from Thailand this year, denies murdering Mr Ryan in September 2008.

The men met on holiday earlier that year and Mr Ryan offered Mr Crawford somewhere to stay.

But soon after moving into the Devonshire Road property Mr Ryan began to suspect him of taking money from his internet bank account.

Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, said: "The killing of Michael Ryan was a ruthless and mercenary killing, the defendant withdrawing a substantial amount of money from his bank account and fleeing to Thailand."

Mr Ryan, 67, had been dead for several days when he was discovered and tests showed he died from a blow to the head.

The case continues.

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