Detectives make fresh appeal for information after pensioner, 81, murdered for empty handbag

Ten years on from the murder of an elderly woman, mugged for her empty handbag, detectives continue to appeal for witnesses and information.

A reward of £20,000 is offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the death of 81-year-old Molly Morgan.

Mrs Morgan was attacked at around 19:40hrs on 15 January 2009 as she was on her way to Kenton Library attending a lecture called ‘Buildings in London’.

She had walked about a mile from her home to Streatfield Road in Harrow, when she was attacked.

Her handbag was pulled from her and she fell to the ground, hitting her head and the left side of her body. She was taken to Northwick Park Hospital where her condition deteriorated and she sadly died the following day.

Mrs Morgan had suffered a broken left arm and multiple fractures to the left side of the face. A post-mortem examination gave cause of death as subdural haematoma.

Her brown leather-effect shoulder bag which was stolen contained only an empty Sainsbury’s carrier bag, an electrical extension lead and a brown and gold Primark umbrella.

The extension lead and handbag were seen in Northwick Avenue in Kenton near to the junction with Rushout Avenue, at 21:00hrs on the night of the murder. Only the extension lead was recovered by a resident the following day, the handbag had disappeared and has never been traced.

Witnesses saw two men/youths running along Streatfield Road towards Kenton Library immediately after the attack on Mrs Morgan.

A man wearing grey tracksuit trousers was seen walking ahead of Mrs Morgan in Streatfield Road – detectives continue to appeal to trace this person.

CCTV taken earlier that day from a supermarket in Queensbury, NW9, shows how vulnerable Mrs Morgan was.

T/ Detective Superintendent Andy Partridge, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: “It has now been ten years since Mrs Morgan was murdered and despite extensive enquiries we have never been able to bring her killers to justice.

“Mrs Morgan was an active and highly respected member of her local community and was killed for the worthless contents of her handbag; her family miss her dearly and cling to the hope that someone will now do the right thing and come forward as they continue to search for justice.

“With the passage of time, people and loyalties change, and those who did not come forward at the time now have an opportunity to help solve this tragic case, search their conscience and do the right thing.

“A substantial reward is available for information, this is a significant amount of money and this tragic anniversary is the right time to come forward.”

Mrs Morgan had lived in the local area for more than 50 years and was very agile and active in the local community. A member of the Royal Horticultural Society, she had an allotment locally. She sat on the London committee of the Workers’ Educational Association a group supporting adult education.

She had originally trained as an architect but gave up work to become a full-time mother to her daughter.

She was married to William Morgan for more than 40 years. He died in November 1997.

Hilary Underwood, Molly Morgan’s daughter, said: “The robbers snatched her bag so roughly that she was knocked over and suffered brain damage and she died that night in hospital. No one’s ever been caught.

“That night turned my life upside down, I’m her only child and we were very close. It was 10 years ago but it hurts still every day. Sometimes I feel like I can’t go on. If you love your Mum or your Gran, imagine what you’d feel like if something like that happened to her.

“You might feel reluctant but do it for me. Please do it because this is something that could bring me peace and closure and justice at last.”

Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8358 0300.

If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at

Four men, [A – 20ys; B – 19ys; C – 22ys; D – 21ys] arrested on 28 July 2010 in connection with the investigation were later released with no further action.

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