Trial date for Thornton Heath gran’s murder set for May 2024

Nelly Akomah, the 76-year-old church-going grandmother who was found dead at her home in Thornton Heath last week, died from injuries consistent with strangulation, the Old Bailey heard at a committal hearing.

Hugo Da Silva Pires appeared at the Central Criminal Court accused of murdering the vulnerable elderly woman during a bungled burglary.

The prosecution alleges that the 28-year-old handyman, who appeared via video link and had the help of a Portuguese interpreter, overpowered Akomah in her Ladbrook Road home and made off with her phone, purse, electronics and Bible late on June 20. Akomah was found dead at her home the next day.

An initial post-mortem examination found she had suffered a fractured larynx and two broken ribs. Tests are continuing to confirm how she died.

Victim: Nelly Akomah

Pires, from Fernham Road, Thornton Heath, was charged with Akomah’s murder, burglary and fraud, and his partner Catia Feliciano, 31, also from Thornton Heath, was charged with fraud and perverting the course of justice.

It is alleged that after her death, Akomah’s bank cards were used to buy food and watches. Pires and Feliciano were arrested at Stansted Airport on June 23, allegedly attempting to leave the country.

Judge Alexia Durran set a timetable for the case with a plea hearing on September 13.

A provisional three-week trial was fixed for May 7 2024.

Akomah’s death is the fifth murder investigation conducted by the Met Police in and around Croydon in three months, April to June 2023.

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at
  • As featured on Google News Showcase
  • Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Crime, Thornton Heath and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply