Murder Squad detectives were today continuing to hunt the killer of popular pensioner Rosina Coleman battered to death in a "cowardly" attack in her own home.

Friends and relatives of the former seamstress - known as Rose - have been left devastated by her brutal murder described as "despicable" and "horrendous" by police.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

A post mortem was due to take place today, but Scotland Yard said there have been no arrests overnight.

The alarm was raised when the 85-year-old' grandmother's body was found at her bungalow in Romford, east London, by a handyman on Tuesday morning.

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East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Detectives believe the widow, whose retired print worker husband died 11 years ago, was subjected to a "cowardly assault" between 7.30am and 11.30am on Tuesday before being left to die alone.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "A post-mortem is expected to take place today.

"At this stage there have been no arrests." 

Shewas a regular visitor at the Royal British Legion.

Jackie Harwood, her close friend, arrived at the scene in shock.

She paid tribute to Rosina, who she described as "lovely' woman who enjoyed dancing.

The 72-year-old from Harold Hill met Rosina every Saturday at British Legion events.

She said: "We go to the legion every Saturday together.

"She is such a kind and lovely person, I can't understand how anyone would do this to her. I can't fault her.

"She was so jolly and happy- she was always up dancing every Saturday.
"She would make bread pudding for everyone.

"She still made all her own clothes, she was always smart and well dressed.

"Her poor family. I feel terrible for them. They must be devastated- they were very close.

"I phoned our friends from the Legion who are abroad - they are in complete shock. Everyone who knows her will be.

"I hope they find the person who did this."