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Murder accused appears in court
A South Woodford man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a pensioner in Hornchurch.
Thomas Blazquez, of Onslow Gardens, is accused of killing 77-year-old Rosemary Shearman after she was found dead in her home last Tuesday (September 3).
Mr Blazquez, 50, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday where he was remanded in custody.
Police say Mr Blazquez is unemployed but according to reports he previously worked for the Crown Prosecution Service helping to bring criminals to justice.
He is due to attend a preliminary hearing at the Old Bailey tomorrow, followed by a further initial court appearance on December 16.
The body of Ms Shearman was found after a taxi driver she had earlier booked turned up at her house in Platford Green.
After he received no response he contacted neighbours who entered the home and made the grim discovery.
A post-mortem held on Thursday gave the cause of death as a "mechanical obstruction of the upper airway".
Mr Blazquez was arrested at Ms Shearman's home and was charged on Saturday.
Ms Sherman was a widow with two children and grandchildren, according to reports.
In a joint family statement, her children 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.
"She regularly played tennis, was a member of many local clubs and took day trips and holidays with friends."
The statement added: "We are hugely grateful to the many friends and family that have been in contact, and to the police who are doing an exemplary job of conducting this investigation and supporting us as a family."
DCI Noel McHugh, who is leading the investigation said: "We are seeking further information about Rosemary's movements during the morning of Tuesday September 3, particularly during 8.30am to 11am.
"She was due to leave on holiday that morning, having booked a ten day cruise in Norway, but was found dead at home shortly before 12.30pm."
He added: "If you do know anything then please get in touch with us, you can contact the Incident Room on 020 7321 7228."