An Iranian immigrant strangled an allotment secretary with a lawnmower cord after a charity gave him his own plot, a court has heard.
Grandmother Lea Adri-Soejoko, 80, was attacked at the allotments where she worked and strangled with cords from a lawnmower and one from her own anorak.
Police found her body hidden in a shed after they heard her mobile phone ringing.
Rahim Mohammadi, 40, is accused of killing the ‘pillar of the community’ in Colindale, northwest London, last month.
Police were alerted to Ms Adri-Soejoko’s disappearance after she failed to turn up to a meeting of the Colindale Allotment Garden Association on February 28.
Her body was found dead just 25 minutes later in a storage unit on the allotments off Sheaveshill Avenue when police heard the ringing of her mobile phone.
A post mortem on March 1 found the cause of death was ligature of the neck from her anorak and also from the cable of the lawnmower stored in the shed.
Mr Mohammadi, who moved to the UK around 10 years ago, had his own plot at the allotments.
Aided in the dock by a Farsi interpreter he appeared at the Old Bailey on Wednesday charged with murder.
Prosecutor Charlotte Newell said Mr Mohammadi had been given his plot through a charity called Freedom from Torture.
“Ms Adri-Soejoko was found in a locked shed on an allotment where she spent a good deal of her time,” she said.
“‘Mr Mohammadi worked there with a charitable scheme.
“The last proof of life was at 14.34pm on 27 February when Ms Adri-Soejoko’s friend had spoken to her on the telephone. When he called again at 6pm that evening there was no reply.”
Police forced their way into the allotment through a gap in the fence in the early hours of the morning on 28 February.
Ms Newell said: “They could hear a ringing coming from her mobile phone coming from a breeze block shed contains tools and a lawn mower.
“It was padlocked. Police had to break in. When they did they found Ms Adri-Soejoko lifeless body.
“She was wearing an anorak, the apron she would have worn while on her allotment and wellingtons.
“She had been strangled with the cord of her own anorak and she also had a second cord tied around her neck – that was the pull cord of the lawn mower.”
Judge Philip Katz QC fixed the case for trial on July 10. Mr Mohammadi, of Bethnal Green, east London, was remanded in custody.
Ms Adri-Soejoko had moved to Britain from Belgium in 1966.
Police said she was “very active and very well known in the area, always at her allotment. A pillar of the community. She was a mother and grandmother”.