Rosemary Shearman's son and daughter, Greg Shrearman and Carol Lewis, said after the sentencing today:
– Greg Shearman and Carol Lewis
“We feel the sentence is some small justice following the tragic murder of our mother.
We are relieved that the jury reached a guilty verdict and that a very dangerous has been removed from the community.
We pay tribute to the bravery of Ray Lomas, a neighbour of our mother, who went to her aid and helped raised the alarm.
We also thank the murder investigation detectives and prosecution team. Their tireless work helped secure the result at court today.”
A gambling addict has been sentenced to life in prison for the brutal murder of a pensioner he met at a local bridge club.
51 year old Thomas Blazquez will serve a minimum of 18 years for murdering 77 year old Rosemary Shearman at her home in Hornchurch.
Mrs Shearman was found in September last year bound with tape and rope and repeatedly beaten around the head and body. A large handkerchief was also forced into her upper airways.
She was due to go on a cruise to Norway the same day.
Tom Hind, from Hornchurch, was a passenger in a car being driven by his father when he took this footage on a busy dual carriageway on Sunday. Tom was heading along the A11 in Cambridgeshire when he spotted a red Citreon going the wrong way.
Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press, Tom said: "It was just horrifying. People were honking their horns and flashing lights to get her attention but she just seemed totally oblivious. We were just in sheer amazement.
"In the outside lane of the motorway you are only going to hit one thing and that's another car. If she's doing 50 and the other car is doing 70 and there was a family in there, then it would have been horrific."
Police stopped the car using a rolling roadblock, eventually flagging the vehicle down.
Police in Havering are appealing for a witness who reportedly saw a boy aged around 16 to 17-years-old being "dragged off in a van" in Hornchurch.
The van is described as small, coloured white but dirty and had a side opening door. The rear windows are believed to be blacked out and the front headlights are believed to have a blue-coloured tint.
Police said they are especially keen to be contacted by a dog walker seen in the local area who was witnessed shouting "stop" at the van. This witness is described as a white man, possibly aged in his 30s, walking a brown or gold coloured dog.
– RBS statement
This is clearly difficult news for staff affected by these changes. We will do everything we can to support them, including seeking redeployment opportunities wherever possible and ensuring that compulsory redundancies are kept to a minimum.
Around 250 jobs are to be cut by the Royal Bank of Scotland from sites in London and Hornchurch in Essex. The union, Unite, describes the cuts as "unnecessary and avoidable".
Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "Staff will be recruited in other parts of the country in order to do the work currently undertaken at these sites.
"While RBS state they are committed to identifying redeployment opportunities, these do not appear to be viable geographical alternatives."
Today, the son of Rosemary Shearman described the moment he found out his mother's death, and appealed for anyone with information to come forward. Greg Shearman said:
"It was unreal, it's not the sort of thing that happens to your own family. But laying flowers at her house for myself and my sister - was just terrible.
"If anyone was in that area, and may have seen something, just contact the police. This is a nan, my mum, who's been taken away from us. And it's wrong. If you can help, ring the police."
A family paid tribute today to a devoted grandmother murdered in "an unbelievably shocking and cruel way" in Hornchurch. 77-year-old Rosemary Shearman was found by neighbours in Platford Green last Tuesday.
The family of Rosemary Shearman, said: "Our mother has been taken from us in an unbelievably shocking and cruel way. We are finding it very difficult to come to terms with her loss and the way it happened.
"She was a devoted grandmother and although she never fully recovered from the death of our father nearly five years ago, she lived a very full and busy life."