A suspect in his 30s has been held for murder after a churchgoing grandmother was found dead at her home just two months after beating Covid.
The 76-year-old victim, named by locals as Phyllis Nelson, was described as ‘the most lovely person’ and ‘everybody’s dream neighbour.’
Police were called to her home in Plaistow, east
A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. He remains in police custody.
Neighbour Emma Martin, 32, described Phyllis as the matriarch of the block, who was always cooking or in the garden trimming her rose and holly bushes.
Police were called to the 76-year-old’s home in Plaistow, east London, shortly before 10.30pm last night and confirmed an elderly woman was pronounced dead at the scene
Data analyst Ms Martin said Phyllis was born in Jamaica and lived in a ground floor flat with her grandson, who looked after her following her battle against coronavirus.
She said: ‘I’m just reeling really because she had Covid in January and she was taken into hospital for two weeks and now to hear she was taken unfairly is just horrible.
‘We were so thrilled to have her back and she was out in the garden only this week. She was a really wonderful woman and everything you would want in a neighbour.
‘She was very kind and the matriarch of the block in the best possible way.
‘She was very involved in the community since her retirement and we’d have lots of street parties. She was a church singer and she was involved in the Plaistow South Big Local group.
‘She was always saying hi and always tending to her roses and her holly bushes or cooking Jamaican spicy chicken and fish dishes.
‘She was a strong-willed, independent and fearless woman. She’d lived here for decades. She cared about this area and she cared about the community.’
A man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and remains in police custody. Pictured: Police at the scene in Plaistow today
Ms Martin added: ‘I did not hear anything at all last night from the flat. I went to bed at 10pm and then police were knocking on the door at midnight.
‘But it could have happened before as she was not answering her door at 11am the day before. Yesterday a parcel came for their flat, but nobody was in so they dropped it at mine. I also thought that was strange because she was always in.’
She added: ‘I think Phyllis found it hard during Covid, and she definitely slowed down a lot after getting home from hospital.’
A body was removed from the flat this morning and a police cordon remains in place.
Seb Pich, 48, who is working on the vacant property next door to the crime scene, said: ‘I only started working here yesterday but I arrived at work this morning and there were police everywhere.’
Neighbour Emma Martin, 32, described Phyllis as the matriarch of the block, who was always cooking or in the garden trimming her rose and holly bushes (police cordon pictured above)
Two police officers were guarding the entrance to the red brick block while another officer patrolled the corridors.
A Met Police spokesman said: ‘Detectives are investigating following the death of an elderly woman in Newham.
‘Police were called at 10:18pm on Thursday to a residential address in Kent Street. Officers attended with paramedics from the London Ambulance Service.
‘A 76-year-old woman was found. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Next of kin are aware. Formal identification awaits and a post-mortem examination will be scheduled in due course.
‘A man aged in his 30s was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. He remains in police custody.
‘It is believed the deceased and the man arrested were known to each other. Enquiries into the circumstances continue.’
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