FOUR years ago today, a frail and defenceless elderly woman was robbed in her own home, causing her to die in hospital two days later.

Yet following an extensive murder investigation including an appeal on the BBC's Crimewatch, Margaret Hawkins's killers are still at large.

Described by police as a "feisty" woman who was "fiercely independent", Margaret, aged 87, lived alone in Charterhouse Road, Orpington.

But when two men burst into her bungalow on November 16, 2007, her life soon came to a tragic and cruelly premature end.

News Shopper: Unsolved pensioner murder leaves 'wound' in community

The pair pushed Margaret onto a sofa before stealing her possessions and money.

She collapsed from shock during a police interview and later died in hospital.

Despite detectives ruling out around 1,000 potential suspects and the recovery of Margaret's stolen handbag, her murder remains unsolved.

On Sunday, neighbours attended a remembrance service at Christ Church in Charterhouse Road where a candle was lit in Margaret's memory.

News Shopper: Unsolved pensioner murder leaves 'wound' in community

The Rev Jay Colwill said: "It remains a very significant incident in the life of our community. Margaret was a much loved woman.

"It's a concern no-one has been brought to justice. It's left a wound in our community.

"Her close neighbours, of which I was one, still feel her loss.

"She was a private woman, who lived independently with the support of her neighbours."

Just one month after the incident, a handbag belonging to Margaret was discovered underneath a tree at a garden centre in Chislehurst and handed to police on Christmas Eve.

It contained a tiny DNA profile matching DNA found at Margaret's home, although police say it doesn't hold any "evidential value".

Detective Sergeant Brian Hobbs, one of the officers on the case, said said: "A large quantity of names were put forward but with no evidence to connect them.

"Even though it's four years on, it's an ongoing enquiry we are desperate to solve.

"You take heart from having had success from other jobs in the past where it does take a number of years.

"These murder investigations are never closed. They are regularly reviewed for potential new lines of enquiry. The longer it goes on, it does become more difficult but it's not something that can't be overcome."

He added: "Those responsible may have spoken to someone or this may be playing on someone's conscience.

"We would appreciate anyone with any information no matter how insignificant they feel it might be, to come forward."


Police are looking for two men, aged between 25 and 40, and want to hear from anyone who was in the Charterhouse Road area on November 16, 2007, and either witnessed the incident or saw anyone acting suspiciously.

News Shopper: hawkins1

News Shopper: hawkins2

The first man had brown cropped hair and a swept fringe and may weigh between 20st and 25st.

He was wearing a white or light grey T-shirt and dark jogging bottoms.

News Shopper: Unsolved pensioner murder leaves 'wound' in community

The second man has brown hair and had a slim to medium build.

He was wearing a dark coloured T-shirt and dark jogging bottoms.

Police are also keen to trace a red flat back van seen being driven slowly past houses in the area.

Anyone with any information should call police on 020 8721 4155 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.