A man who stabbed to death his landlady at her home in Brent has been convicted of murder and burglary.
Michael Purcell was found guilty following an 11-day trial at the Old Bailey on Thursday (April 21), and will be sentenced on May 27.
The blood body of Imelda Molina, which was subjected to 48 stab wounds, was discovered by her partner on October 29 last year after she returned home from work.
She had spoken to the 49-year-old victim at around 6pm that evening to say she would pick up pizza on her way home.
But when she walked through the door of the flat in Ashford Court, Cricklewood, at 7.15pm she saw their bedroom door had been forced open, and when she entered discovered the body of Ms Molina.
She ran from the flat to summon, and ambulance crew were soon at the scene to pronounce the victim dead.
Police were also called to the address and went to a bedroom that was used by Purcell, 53, who had been the victim’s tenant for over four years.
They found him on his bed and covered in blood, with a large cut to the left side of his neck and more cuts to his wrists.
The court heard that he had claimed to inflict the injuries on himself and told emergency services who set about saving his life: “I killed the woman next door, just let me die.”
One of the officers in the room recorded Purcell’s admission in his notebook as a dying declaration and he was arrested on suspicion of murder before being taken to hospital.
The court was told that while at the hospital an officer recorded Purcell saying: “I don’t know what came over me yesterday because she was a lovely lady.”
A search of the defendant’s room found it in a chaotic state and littered with alcohol bottles. A handbag belonging to Ms Molina’s partner was also found containing approximately £1,000 in cash.
After recovering he was taken to a police station, where he gave no explanation of what had happened and was subsequently charged with Imelda’s murder.
Speaking after the guilty verdicts were read out in court, Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command said: “We believe that the motive for the murder was financial.
"Enquires revealed he had problems with alcohol and owed a large amount of money, but even he may not really understand why he carried out such a vicious and sustained assault.
“However, what we can all understand is how Purcell’s attack resulted Imelda’s life being stolen away from those who loved her. Purcell will now face the consequences of his actions; he is a dangerous man who carried out a ferocious attack and he has rightly been brought to account.”