Odd job man David Munley must have thought his luck was in when he broke into Jean Barnes's house and discovered her treasures.

Fuelled by greed and with a failed business and marriage behind him, Munley saw the antiques and thought of the cash.

He returned again and again to steal from the pensioner. The temptation was too great. One visit led to another and eventually turned the burglar into a killer.

Even after he had murdered the 87-year-old recluse he couldn't help continuing his raids.

Wrapping a dressing gown and blanket round her head so he wouldn't have to look at her body, he stole and sold Miss Barnes's antiques, stepping around her decomposing body as he began to empty the home of her possessions.

In a bid to cover his tracks he even left a forged note for the milkman saying she was going into a nursing home.

It was only when a blind neighbour grew worried because she had not heard from Miss Barnes that 57-year-old Munley's plot was uncovered.

Sussex Police launched a murder inquiry and traced Miss Barnes's antiques through dealers around the UK and abroad.

The sale of paintings, furniture and china through antique dealers and auction houses - including Christie's and Sotheby's - led straight back to Worthing, where just 240 yards from Miss Barnes' 13-room house they found Munley.

A tissue smeared with his blood and footprints matching his shoes were found inside the pensioner's semi-detached home in Tennyson Road.

Her civil service membership card was discovered under floorboards in Munley's home in Byron Road, which he shared with his former wife Judith and his dog JR.

Miss Barnes's phone number even appeared more than once on his phone bill.

Yet Munley continued to insist he had bought the antiques from friends, charity shops and car boot sales and he denied ever being inside Miss Barnes's house.

He claimed the cash he used to buy the antiques had come from a double win on the horses and insisted the DNA evidence which linked him to Miss Barnes's home had simply been a "set-up" by the police.

His denials means the truth about the pensioner's final hours will probably never be known.