A 20-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a mother-of-two who is thought to have been attacked after leaving a hospital.

The body of 45-year-old Maria Rawlings was found in bushes in Little Heath, Romford on May 4.

Police believe she was attacked after leaving the King George Hospital in Goodmayes, Ilford, the previous evening, walking to Barley Lane in the direction of the A12.

Valentin Lazar from Barking was charged on Monday evening and is due to appear in custody at Barkingside Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

A suspect was arrested on Sunday and was taken to an east London police station for questioning.

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Maria Jane Rawlings
Maria Jane Rawlings was found in bushes near King George Hospital

The arrest followed the release of CCTV images of a man on board a bus. It was unclear whether that man was the person who was arrested.

A post-mortem examination found that Ms Rawlings had been strangled and had suffered head injuries.

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Detective Chief Inspector David Hillier, who is leading the murder investigation, said: "My thoughts remain with Maria's family at this incredibly difficult time."

Anyone with information can contact the incident room on 020 8345 3865 or by calling 101 or tweeting @MetCC , and quoting the reference CAD3551/4May.