Antoinette Donegan was murdered in her London flat in 2019.
Kristian Smith, 42, has been convicted of killing Irish-born Antoinette Donegan, 52, following a trial at the Old Bailey in London on January 27. He will be sentenced at a later date.
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Smith, who continued to live in Donegan's flat for several weeks following the murder, had previously pleaded guilty to fraud and preventing a lawful burial but had denied killing her.
Donegan was last seen alive on Friday, February 1, 2019.
The court heard Metropolitan police were called to Donegan’s home address at Este Road, SW11 on Thursday, March 7, 2019, following concerns for her welfare as she had not been seen for more than a month, The Irish World reports.
Police found Antoinette’s decomposed body in the apartment and a significant amount of blood on the floor by her head and on the furniture in her bedroom. Clothing had been pushed up against the bedroom door from the hallway to conceal the smell of the decomposing corpse.
Following an investigation, police identified Smith as the prime suspect.
After tracking Donegan’s bankcard, detectives found Smith had used it on several occasions after her death to withdraw money from her account. He also removed the SIM card from her cell phone and put it in his handset.
Smith was arrested on March 13, 2019. In his possession at the time of his arrest was Antoinette’s bank card, SIM card, and jewelry.
Traces of blood on his shoes were also matched to the victim.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Donegan had suffered a number of head injuries from a broken mug found in the bedroom and seven fractured ribs.
The court also heard that Donegan and Smith both had drug addictions and went to the same recovery center.
Detective Chief Inspector John Massey, the officer in the case, said: “This is a tragic case in which Antoinette’s generosity in allowing Kristian Smith to stay in her flat has been abused in the worst way possible.
“Antoinette was a vulnerable individual who was battling addiction herself.
“We will never know what instigated Smith’s brutal attack on Antoinette. But, what we do know, is that he then carried on with his life as if nothing had happened. He stole her bank card and withdrew money, presumably to buy drugs. Despite knowing she was dead, Smith did not tell anyone and simply blocked up the bedroom door to conceal any smell.
“The injuries on Antoinette’s body were numerous and it was clear that Smith did not kill her in self-defense. I am glad the jury has seen through his lies and he now faces a long period in jail.”