A “parasitic” man from Crouch End befriended a wealthy older woman before killing her to plunder her money, a court has heard.

Serkan Kaygusuz, 42, received large amounts of cash from 70-year-old retiree, Norma Girolami, from Highgate, after they met in 2017, the Old Bailey heard.

The court was told Kaygusuz allegedly demanded ever-increasing sums of money – four and five-figure sums every few weeks.

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According to prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward, in May 2021, the “money tap which had flowed so freely for so long was switched off”.

The reasons were said to have been the death of Ms Girolami’s father, her dwindling funds, or that she had “simply had enough” of jobless Kaygusuz’s demands.

Ms Ledward said: “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.”

Jurors were told the defendant’s phone was used on August 2 for a series of “sinister searches” online for garden tools, caustic soda, hydrochloric acid, “deed for property transfer” and “will and testament”.

The court heard that on August 17, there were purchases on his Amazon account for rope, a “soft ball full mesh mouth plug with adjustable belt” which can be used to restrain a person, handcuffs, gloves and plastic overalls, tape and a spading fork tool.

Ms Ledward told jurors: “They can only have had one purpose when acquired by the defendant – to restrain and kill Norma Girolami, to conceal her remains by burying them, and ensuring the defendant did not get dirty and acquire any forensic traces in the process.”

On August 19, 2021, Ms Girolami travelled from her home in Highgate for a day out at Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex. 

On the evening after Ms Girolami’s trip to the seaside, the defendant is alleged to have gone to her flat and killed her.

Ms Ledward said: “The prosecution case is that Serkan Kaygusuz murdered her, concealed her body, ultimately by burying it, and then set about getting as much money out of her as he could.”

Ms Girolami's remains were discovered by police in a church graveyard in Friern Barnet Lane, North Finchley in November 2022.

Since Ms Girolami was found dead, the defendant admitted dishonestly obtaining her money and property, and concealing and burying her body, but has denied murder.

The trial continues.

Reporting by PA.