Legal First – Double jeopardy killer Michael Weir jailed for murdering two pensioners

December 2019

An “utterly callous” murderer has been jailed for at least 30 years for killing two pensioners in a double jeopardy case which made legal history.

Michael Weir battered veteran Leonard Harris and mother-of-three Rose Seferian during two burglaries five weeks apart in 1998, the Old Bailey was told.

Mr Harris’s widow Gertrude also suffered head injuries and died a few years later in a care home.
During the attacks, Weir stole a signet ring and gold watch from Mr Harris, 78, and ripped diamond rings from 83-year-old Ms Seferian’s fingers, jurors heard.

Connections between the two deaths were not made at the time after police failed to match Weir’s palm print to one recovered from the Harris home in 1998.

Jailing Weir for life with a minimum term of 30 years on Monday, Mrs Justice McGowan said: “For the families, it’s impossible to understand the extent of their grief but it is not difficult to understand their sense of loss and outrage.

“You killed their parents, they died terrified – killed for items of jewellery.”

After 52-year-old Weir, a prolific jewel thief, was found guilty of the murders, Mrs Justice McGowan told jurors they had made legal history.

Prosecutor Tom Little QC said it was believed to be the first double jeopardy case to involve a defendant being found guilty of the same murder twice.

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