A ROMANIAN man arrested on suspicion of murder after a grandmother was bludgeoned to death as she house-sat for friends will be extradited to the UK.

Artist Valerie Graves, 55, was found dead in bed at around 10am on December 30, 2013, on the ground floor of a £1.6 million house by the sea in Bosham, near Chichester.

Cristian Sabou, 28, was arrested on a European arrest warrant on Wednesday morning at his home in Dej, in the north-west of his native Romania.

Sussex Police said Sabou faced an extradition proceeding hearing at a court in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, yesterday.

The force said he did not contest the application to extradite him and arrangements will now be made to bring him to the UK.

Detectives from the Surrey and Sussex major crime team were at the hearing and remain in Romania working with the authorities there.

Sabou is expected to be extradited in the next ten days, according to the Associated Press.

On the fifth anniversary of Ms Graves’s death last December, relatives told how no one had given up hope on the investigation although there was a sense police had exhausted all lines of inquiry.

At the time, Sussex Police confirmed it had ended a huge DNA screening programme which saw almost 3,000 men tested. Detectives pledged to continue investigating.

Ms Graves had moved from Scotland to Bracklesham Bay shortly before her death.

She died just days after her birthday while house-sitting at the Smuggler’s Lane mansion – with her mother Eileen, her sister Jan and her sister’s partner Nigel Acres – for family friends the Chamberlains who were on holiday in Costa Rica for Christmas.

She was last seen alive at around 10pm the night before and there were no signs of a struggle.

But a post-mortem examination found she had severe head injuries after being hit with a claw hammer, probably at around midnight.

Sussex Police then launched one of the biggest investigations in its history.