A “COLD-blooded” Lidl worker fleeced his wealthy pal out of £284,000 before killing her then burying her body, a court heard.
Serkan Kaygusuz, 42, allegedly formed a three-year “parasitic” friendship with Norma Girolami, 70, in a bid to take her money.
2Norma Girolami was allegedly murdered by her friend for her moneyCredit: PABut after she stopped paying him, he killed Norma in a “cold-blooded” plot to steal her fortune and £900,000 house in Highgate, North London, it is said.
Jurors were told Kaygusuz buried her body then took control of Norma’s electronic devices in a bid to trick her family into believing she was still alive.
Prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward said: “Once such immediate practical matters had been dealt with, rather as he had done when Norma Girolami was alive, he set about systematically taking what remained of the money in her bank accounts.
“He did so by taking over her bank and credit card accounts, setting up online banking on them, something which Norma had never done, ordering replacement cards and then beginning the process of syphoning off Norma’s money into his own accounts or withdrawing it in cash.”
The Old Bailey was told Kaygusuz took out two loans of £35,000 and £25,000 in Norma’s name after her death in August 2021.
This was on top of the almost £300,000 she had transferred Kaygusuz during their friendship, jurors heard.
The pair had become friends after meeting at a local swimming pool in 2017.
Norma was said to have been “flattered” after the yoinger man made an “advance” in the hot tub at the baths.
From early 2018, Norma began sending Kaygusuz ever-increasing amounts of cash, it was said.
But in May 2021, the “money tap which had flowed so freely for so long was switched off”, the court was told.
Ms Ledward said: “For a time, the defendant kept asking for money but Ms Girolami stood firm and kept putting him off.
“By August, the defendant must have realised that his comfortable parasitic lifestyle was not going to continue, he was simply not going to get any more out of Ms Girolami.
“At least, not whilst she was alive.”
On August 19, 2021, Norma returned to her lavish home following a day out in Leigh-on-Sea.
The court was told Kaygusuz was the last person to have any contact with her with telephone records suggesting he went to her home that night.
He allegedly killed her then “concealed” her body by burying it.
Kaygusuz then took control of Norma’s mobile and laptop to pretend to her friends and neighbours she was still alive, it was said.
Ms Ledward said: “He had picked his target with care, Norma was relatively well off, and had a long history with the banks she used, who algorithms did not bat a digital eye-lid at the prospect of significant loans to her.
“For about a month after her disappearance, he succeeded.
“But he misjudged the extent to which Norma’s friends and cousins cared about Norma, and how well they knew her.
“They were simply not prepared to accept that she had suddenly cut herself off from everyone and everything she knew.
“It is a testament to them that they were not fooled, that they continued to try and to make contact with Norma, and when puzzlement turned to suspicion and fear, they alerted the police to their very grave concerns for their friend.”
The court was told after she was reported missing, Kaygusuz “quickened his pace” and made transfers and withdrawals almost every day.
This, the prosecution say, was to “get his hands on as much of Norma’s money as quickly as possible”.
Kaygusuz has admitted dishonestly obtaining her money and property, and concealing and burying her body but denies murder.
The trial continues.
2Norma had befriended the defendant at a swimming poolCredit: Central News
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk