IT was one of the “biggest murder inquiries” ever conducted by Hampshire police after detectives spent years probing the killing of a pensioner who was beaten to death in her own home.
Georgina Edmonds, 77, was killed with her marble rolling pin at her Hampshire home in 2008.
She was tortured with a knife by her murderer, Matthew Hamlen in a bid to get her to tell him her debit card PIN number -but it would take years until Hamlen was brought to justice.
Georgina Edmonds was bludgeoned and stabbed to death in her own home in the village of Brambridge.
The 77-year-old widow was living alone in the property when she was attacked.
She was described as a woman with restricted mobility but an "independent character who walked her two cocker spaniel dogs, drove her own car and did her shopping locally".
Mrs Edmonds was found dead in the kitchen of her riverside cottage in a pool of blood by her son, Harry, who lives in a larger house on the same estate.
Georgina Edmonds was murdered at her Hampshire home on 11 January 2008.
She was stabbed 37 times with a knife on her chest, neck and upper back before being beaten with a marble rolling pin broke into three pieces.
A two-year manhunt began afterwards with almost 2,000 DNA samples taken from local people in an attempt to identify the killer.
Electrician Matthew Hamlen, 38, from Bishopstoke, Hampshire, was found guilty last year of the 2008 murder of Mrs Edmonds.
The married dad-of-one was sentenced to a minimum of 30 years behind bars.
Hamlen, who was originally charged with her murder in 2010, was cleared of her murder in 2012.
But he was re-arrested in 2014, following a relaxation of the double jeopardy law, which had previously prevented anyone being tried for the same crime twice.
He was then convicted - four years after he was cleared of the crime - following fresh evidence which led to a six-week trial at Winchester Crown Court.
Hamlen, who had a history of domestic violence and cocaine use, was also suspected of dealing drugs and was thought to be considerably in debt.
He had always denied any involvement in the killing.
In English law, a defendant could not be tried a second time on the same charges after they had been acquitted
The principal was changed in the 2003 Criminal Justice Act to allow the Court of Appeal to quash an acquittal and order a retrial when "new and compelling" evidence is produced.
The legislation applies to up to 30 offences including manslaughter, kidnap, rape, armed robbery and a number of serious drugs crimes.
The second trial was brought forward following new DNA evidence which linked him to the crime scene.
DNA on Mrs Edmonds's clothing was found 26 million times more likely to come from Hamlen than from anyone else, the court heard.
Mobile phone analysis also placed him close to Mrs Edmonds's house on the day of the murder and DNA found on the rolling pin was also likely to come from Edmonds.
Prosecutors argued CCTV footage of an unidentifiable man was of Hamlen, trying to withdraw £200 from a cash machine using the victim’s debit card on the same night of the murder.
After a six-week trial at Winchester crown court the jury of nine men and three women took four hours to reach their unanimous verdict.
The inside of story of how Hampshire police managed to bring Hamlen to justice will be shown on Crimewatch on BBC1 at 9pm on Tuesday.
Hamlen, from Bishopstoke, Hampshire, had denied the murder and told police that he could not remember if he had been to the scene of the murder on the day Mrs Edmonds was killed.