Georgina Edmonds' Son Speaks At Murder Trial

The son of a Hampshire pensioner who was tortured and bludgeoned to death has told a court how he found her beaten body in a pool of blood at her country home.

Grandmother Georgina Edmonds was "brutally murdered'' in January 2008 inside her cottage in Brambridge near Eastleigh by electrician Matthew Hamlen, 33, the prosecution allege.

Her son, Harry Edmonds, who runs a coffee importing company, described how he had a feeling of "foreboding'' as he arrived at his mother's cottage.

He explained that his family lived in the main house of Kingfisher Lodge while his mother had moved into the adjacent cottage a few years previously.

He told the jury at Winchester Crown Court that as he arrived at her home after work on Friday January 11, it was in darkness.

He said: "I was struck by the fact it all looked so dark, it seemed to be a foreboding atmosphere, I was conscious of it.''

He explained that he had intended to see his 77-year-old mother to show her some photographs of his son acting in a play for which he had won an award.

When he went to the cottage, he believed that she was asleep so he rang the phone so as not to give her a fright.

But he said that when she did not respond, he became concerned and decided to climb into her bedroom through a window that he managed to open.

At the same time, two groundsmen, Ian Wrightson and Bob Whale, who he had alerted by phone, also arrived.

Mr Edmonds said:

"I heard voices coming from the main door and I looked across and it was Ian coming in but there was no Granny.

"I saw some legs on the floor, 'My God', I thought, 'This is terrible, she's had an accident'.

"I said 'Put the light on' and there was Granny lying on the ground, flat on her face and there was a huge pool of blood coming out from under her head and unfortunately because it was dark I had trodden in this.

"I realised I had been treading these bloody footprints into the carpet.''

Mr Edmonds said that he called 999 and told the operator: "I think there's been a murder here.''

He told the court:

"She was clearly dead, she wasn't moving and there was a huge pool of blood.

"I didn't touch her because I know you do not touch a crime scene and there was a big dent in her head and she had clearly received a blow or blows of sorts.''

He said that after a wait, an ambulance crew arrived and confirmed the death with police arriving a while later.

Describing his mother, Mr Edmonds said:

"My mother was a fairly lively character, she had led an active life, she always had a couple of dogs and was fastidious about giving them a good walk in the morning and afternoon.''

He explained that she suffered from osteoporosis and had had several hip replacements.

He said: "She never complained, she was always a positive, happy person.''

The trial has heard that Mrs Edmonds was stabbed several times with a knife by her killer who tortured her to force her to reveal her bank card pin number.

She was also hit over the head with a marble rolling pin from the kitchen where her body was found.

Hamlen, from Bishopstoke near Eastleigh, denies murder.

The trial continues.