A burglar has been jailed for life for sexually assaulting and murdering an 89-year-old widow after breaking into her home.

Reece Dempster, 23, admitted the sickening attack on Dorothy Woolmer part-way through his trial at the Old Bailey yesterday.

He has been handed a life term with a minimum term of 34 years.

Dempster showed little emotion yesterday as he stood in the dock and admitted the sickening attack on Mrs Woolmer at her home in Tottenham, north London.

The court heard how Dempster forced open the back door of her home in a hunt for money to feed his drug habit.

A month earlier, he had completed gardening work for the pensioner, who was less than 5ft tall, and knew she was vulnerable following the death of her husband.

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After breaking in, he found Mrs Woolmer in bed and subjected her to a seven-hour sexual ordeal, during which she suffered 10 or more blows to the head.

A pathology report found she was sexually assaulted while she was still alive.

Her lifeless body was found bloodied and semi-naked, wrapped in a bed sheet, by her sister and a close friend.

The pair grew concerned when the ‘independent and feisty’ pensioner failed to answer the door or respond to phone calls.

This is a breaking story we will be updating.