A Woolwich man who beat a disabled pensioner to death with a claw hammer to steal his bank card has been found guilty of murder. He claimed the old man had asked for his help to commit suicide.

Raymond Sykes, 36 of Reugg House, Engineer Close, was convicted at the Old Bailey on April 5 of killing 82-year-old Arthur Walters-Girout in his own home.

Sykes was also found guilty of fraud by false representation after embarking on a spending spree with the stolen bank card.

Det Chief Insp Diane Tudway said: “Mr Walters-Girout walked with the aid of crutches and had recently hurt his ribs in a fall but he was an independent man who still drove and enjoyed life.”

“Sykes’ defence was that the victim had asked him to assist his suicide - an utterly far-fetched account that the jury quickly rejected. Sykes beat Mr Walters-Girout to death in his own home, simply to steal his money and waste it on hundreds of pounds worth of trainers and other items.”

The body of Mr Walters-Girout was found in his Sidcup home in June last year. His son had raised the alarm after he was unable to contact him. The pensioner had suffered a fatal fracture to his skull.

Four days before the discovery, CCTV footage showed the victim’s Toyota being driven away and later than afternoon his bank card was used to withdraw £200 from a cashpoint machine in Woolwich. The card was used more than 80 times during the rest of June by Sykes and two other men - brothers Jason and Ashley Hill, from Greenwich.

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Mr Walters-Girout’s card was used another three times that day and then on a further 80 occasions between Wednesday, 17 June and Monday, 22 June.

Although the card was declined several times, the three men managed to withdraw and spend around £2,500, travelling around Woolwich in the victim’s car.

During a police interview Sykes claimed the victim, who he knew, had handed over his car keys and bank card, asking him to keep them and then asked him to help him commit suicide.

He said Mr Walters-Girout began hitting his head with the hammer before he assisted him.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday, April 6, at the Old Bailey.

Jason Hill, 24, and Ashley Hill, 22,, both of Claydown Mews, Greenwich, both pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at an earlier hearing.

The Hill brothers will be sentenced on a date to be set.