Saturday, 25 Mar 2023

Toyboy, 42, jailed for murdering rich lover, 70, and hiding body in graveyard

A ‘parasitic’ toyboy lover who murdered a millionaire pensioner and hid her body in a graveyard after she turned off the ‘money tap’ has been jailed.

Former supermarket worker Serkan Kaygusuz, 42, befriended 70-year-old Norma Girolami at a local swimming pool and ‘cruelly betrayed her love and trust’ to get his hands on some £300,000.

He used the cash to get his hair, nose and teeth done in Turkey, as well as splurging on a £20,000 car, designer clothes, games consoles and sex workers, the Old Bailey heard.

When Ms Girolami refused to hand him any more money, the ‘cold-blooded killer’ plotted to take what remained of her assets by murdering her in her Highgate home.

Kaygusuz, who claimed unemployment benefits and lived with his parents in Crouch End, north London, was found guilty after a jury deliberated for just 19 minutes.

He had already admitted perverting the course of justice, theft of the victim’s jewellery, draining her bank account and fraudulently applying for £60,000 in loans in her name.

On Wednesday, Judge Philip Katz KC jailed Kaygusuz for life with a minimum term of 35 years.

The judge noted that Ms Girolami was a ‘kind’ and ‘overly generous’ woman.

The defendant’s sexual advance to her in a hot tub at the local baths when they first met was ‘deliberate and sleazy rather than accidental’, he said.

Judge Katz told the defendant his actions were ‘utterly selfish’ and ‘motivated by greed’.

He said: ‘Only you know how Norma Girolami died and you have chosen not to tell anyone.

‘This was a premeditated, planned and cruel murder.

‘In every imaginable way this was a terrible betrayal of trust.’

He added the defendant’s ‘callous disrespect’ for his victim and her loved ones demonstrated a complete absence of remorse.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Girolami’s cousin, Pia Graham, described Kaygusuz as a ‘cold-blooded killer’.

She said: ‘You, Serkan, have taken away something beautiful from the world, a unique, benevolent, kind and lovely person.

‘You cruelly betrayed her love and trust, took advantage of her generosity and systematically stripped her of everything she had.

‘There came a point in 2021 when there was no more giving from Norma. You got greedy and set about your calculated plan to kill her.’

Ms Graham described the impact on the family when Ms Girolami ‘vanished’, saying Kaygusuz’s actions were ‘dishonest, disgraceful and indefensible’.

She added: ‘You believed you could make her disappear – how very wrong you were.’

The defendant had a previous conviction in 2016 for voyeurism by taking multiple images of naked women in leisure centre and gym changing rooms.

He also had a conviction for theft and battery of a former girlfriend, then aged 17, who he followed on her way to college and grabbed by the hair.

For those offences, he was handed a community order and was still subject to a sexual harm prevention order at the time of the murder.

Previously the court heard how arrogant and vain Kaygusuz had targeted Ms Girolami in 2017 when they met at swimming baths in Archway, north London.

While their sexual relationship was short-lived, he went on to make increasing demands for cash.

In May 2021, the ‘parasitic’ defendant plotted to take what remained of her assets by killing her after she refused to part with more money, the court was told.

He made a series of ‘sinister searches’ online for garden tools, caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, ‘deed for property transfer’ and ‘will and testament’.

He bought rope, a ‘soft ball full mesh mouth plug with adjustable belt’ which can be used to restrain a person, handcuffs, gloves, plastic overalls, tape and a spading fork tool.

Ms Girolami was last seen on August 19, 2021, when she travelled from her north London home, for a day out at Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex.

Following her disappearance, Kaygusuz pretended to her friends that she was alive and well.

Some 15 months after she went missing, Ms Girolami’s remains were found hidden ‘in plain sight’ in a grave in St James’s Churchyard in Barnet.

A post-mortem examination found she had suffered blunt force injuries to the chest, rib fractures and bruising consistent with ‘third party assault’ although the cause of death was ‘unascertained’.

As the net closed on Kaygusuz, he changed his name to Sean Kaya and began looking to go to Canada for a new life.

Giving evidence, Ms Giromali’s close friend, Linda Crystallis, described her as a gregarious, fun-loving, and kind but overly generous woman, who had suffered in abusive relationships in the past.

She told jurors: ‘Serkan had taken six-figure sums from her and I asked her if she could stop giving him money and she said that she could not.

‘I asked her if she was afraid of him and she said yes because he wanted that money and she was frightened if she said no. I imagined she was frightened of him being violent.’

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn described Kaygusuz as a ‘vile, predatory’ man.

She said: ‘I think he’s a danger to women – and that was echoed with the judge’s comments.’

The senior officer said his motivation for killing Ms Girolami was ‘purely greed’, saying: ‘He could see that perhaps the money was coming to an end and he wouldn’t get any more money from her.

‘He lived well beyond his means. He was unemployed. He had two vehicles, one paid for outright by Norma, and he spent his money on things like designer clothes, cosmetic procedures, and also sex workers.’

Ms Blackburn said it was ‘entirely possible’ other people could have been targeted by Kaygusuz and appealed for any woman or man who felt he had taken money from them to come forward.

She thanked the victim’s family, who had remained ‘composed’ throughout, and added: ‘It took quite a long time to find Norma.

‘I would like to thank my team as well because they worked so hard to look for her, and we found her, and I’m so pleased we could bring her back to her family and be at court to witness her killer being found guilty, and to receive such a substantial sentence.’

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