Romford teen denies murdering ‘kind and gentle’ pensioner in her care home flat

Margery Gilbey, 88, was strangled in her home
. Picture: Met Police

Margery Gilbey, 88, was strangled in her home . Picture: Met Police - Credit: Metropolitan Police Service

A Romford teenager denied the murder of a pensioner in her care home flat when he appeared at the Old Bailey today.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is alleged to have strangled 89-year-old Margery Gilbey to death in her room at Sonali Gardens sheltered accommodation in Shadwell, east London.

Mrs Gilbey was found dead by a care home worker in her first floor room in the block in Sutton Street on May 24.

She had allegedly been stabbed in the neck as well as strangled.

Her room, which she had lived in for just 10 weeks, had allegedly been ransacked.

Mrs Gilbey, known as Madge, was “very popular” in the East End and had worked as a cook at Cath’s cafe in Cable Street for years.

Friend Mary Ayres, 76, told the Evening Standard: “Madge was a lovely woman. I remember her at the cafe where she was a very hard worker and very popular. She always had a smile on her face.

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“In later years she loved shopping and would always go out looking smart. She also loved flowers and was such a gentle person.

“We are so shocked by what has happened. She probably felt safe in sheltered accommodation.”

Chris Munday, who is managing director of Sanctuary Supported Living, which runs the home, said: “We were deeply shocked and saddened by Margery Gilbey’s death and our thoughts are with her family.”

“Margery was a very kind and gentle lady and will be greatly missed by our staff and all who knew her.”

A date for the trial of the teenager, from Romford, was set for October 7 after he pleaded not guilty to Mrs Gilbey’s murder.