A WEST Ealing man was jailed today (13) for murdering a woman he was planning to rob to pay off his debts.

Armen Aristakesyan, 43, of Uxbridge Road, was found guilty following a nine-week trial at the Old Bailey.

He was sentenced to life with a minimum of 30 years' imprisonment after attacking Serafima Meshaka, 58, in her home at Haven Green Court, Ealing.

Aristakesyan was a friend of Serafima’s and had grown closer to her in recent months to gain her trust.

Police were called in September 2019 after concerns for her welfare were raised. 

She was found lying face down with a head injury in the bathroom of her third-floor flat and was pronounced dead shortly later.

There were no signs of any forced entry or disturbance.

The victim kept a quantity of cash at her home. The court heard she had been having extensive building work carried out and would often pay for this in notes.

Aristakesyan knew she kept this money and planned to steal it from her to solve his financial problems, the prosecution claimed.

He was known to owe around £120,000 to illegal loan sharks.

Det Supt Helen Rance said: “Serafima was going about her life as normal on the evening she died.

“She had prepared herself a dinner when Aristakesyan called for the second time that day. Having known him for around three years, she had no reason to suspect she was in danger.

“However, in the brief course of his visit, he succeeded in his calculated pre- planned course of events to steal a substantial amount of cash from her to bail himself out of his financial worries.

“Serafima was no threat at all to Aristakesyan, but he betrayed her confidence and attacked her in her own home, her safe space, in the most cowardly way.”