A former EastEnders extra was jailed for a minimum of 24 years at the Old Bailey yesterday for brutally murdering an 86 year old woman at her own home in the Downham area of Lewisham, in February last year.
The court heard that Karen Williamson, 46, bludgeoned pensioner Jean Jobson to death with a hammer, smashing her head so hard the hammer broke and her skull collapsed. A post-mortem examination also disclosed strangulation marks, bruises and fractures to Jobson’s body.
Jobson was a widow who had no children and had lived alone since her husband’s death 10 years ago.
Williamson, formerly an extra on the BBC’s leading soap opera who has also appeared as on The Bill and London’s Burning, had been a part-time gardener for the elderly woman at the time of the killing. She had allegedly marched to the pensioner’s house in Oakridge Road, Downham, in a drug-crazed rage having already taken crack cocaine twice that day, to settle a dispute over money for purchasing a strimmer.
Jobson, known by her friends as Pat, had loaned Williamson £20 to buy the tool. During the argument the elderly lady had threatened to call the police but, as she attempted to reach the phone, Williamson attacked her with the hammer.
Williamson then attempted to set fire to the house to cover up the evidence and bolted with the pensioner’s purse and a few items of jewellery that she pawned for £61 to feed her addiction.
After the murder, Williamson disposed of the hammer in local woodlands and burned her clothing in her back garden. Later she made a confession to a neighbour and fellow addict and, after her arrest, told police she didn’t know what was “real” because she was on so much crack.
Williamson had initially denied murder. Her first trial was halted in February this year for further investigation of her confession. On Wednesday, the third day of her re-trial, she changed her plea to guilty.
Judge Paul Worsley QC sentenced her to life imprisonment for what he called a “brutal murder”. He added that there had been crushing evidence against her including confessions to the police, the prison service and her friend as well as significant DNA and CCTV evidence.
Detective Chief Inspector Cliff Lyons, of Scotland Yard’s Homicide and Serious Crime Command, said: “Pat Jobson was a popular and well loved member of the community. Her violent death caused shock and disbelief and many wondered why a lone and vulnerable woman would be attacked in this way. I am pleased with the sentence she has received today and hope that this is some comfort to Pat’s family who have been left devastated by her murder.”
By Sean Lindholm