WALTHAMSTOW: Church murder accused freed

Melita Jo who was beaten to death in Walthamstow

Melita Jo who was beaten to death in Walthamstow

First published in News

A man accused of the murder of a homeless woman in a Walthamstow churchyard has been freed due to lack of evidence.

Jonathan Linzell, 30, of no fixed address, was accused of beating Melita Jo to death in the grounds of St Mary's Church in St Mary Road.

On the eve of his trial at the Old Bailey, the Crown Prosecution Service decided its case against Mr Linzell was not strong enough and he was released from custody.

Mrs Jo's body was discovered by a passer by on September 30.

She had been living in the churchyard for some time and was attacked close to the bench where she often slept.

Police discovered Mrs Jo came to Britain from the Philippines and worked as a nanny in various parts of London.

It is believed she became homeless after moving to Wanstead in 2005 and often slept rough close to Redbridge station.

She became well known in the Walthamstow Village area after making the graveyard her home.

Hundreds of people turned out for a vigil in her honour at St Mary's Church and her body was repatriated back to the Philippines where she received a Roman Catholic funeral.

A police spokeswoman said six people are on bail and are due to return to an east London police station in February.

Police are still appealing for witnesses to the attack.

Anyone with information should call police on 8345 3985 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

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