An elderly widow strangled on an allotment with a lawnmower cord had been "wary" of her alleged killer, a court has heard.

Lea Adri-Soejoko, 80, had a "notorious" run-in with Rahim Mohammadi at a Colindale allotments meeting in north London months before he allegedly beat her up and throttled her to stop her reporting his behaviour and losing his plot.

Mohammadi, 41, from Hackney, is currently on trial at the Old Bailey for the murder on February 27, 2017.

Prosecutor John Price told the jury the defendant was known by other plot holders for his "threatening, intimidating, aggressive and sometimes even physically violent behaviour" and that he beat her up and killed her to "stop her complaining".

Mr Price continued: "He has shown himself very sensitive to any perceived slight, however minor, and is quickly aroused to behave in a way others have found frightening.

"He also is capable of recovering his poise just as quickly and sometimes even of apologising. He is temperamentally volatile.

Mr Price said there had been a "fraught atmosphere" on the allotment but outbursts by the defendant had been "overlooked" in the past since a meeting in 2016 where he was verbally abusive after she told him to "shut up".

However, he would have known a serious physical assault upon Mrs Adri-Soejoko would not have been tolerated by allotment users, jurors heard.

Mr Price said: "As he pondered what he had just done to her, Rahim Mohammadi will have feared that he would never again be allowed to return to the allotment and much else besides. And so he killed her."

Jurors have heard that Mrs Adri-Soejoko's family and friends had become concerned after she failed to turn up for an allotment society meeting.

In the early hours of the next morning, police followed the sound of her ringing phone and found her body inside a locked shed on the allotment used to store mowers and the starter cord of a Mountfield lawnmower had been wrapped around her neck.

The secretary of Colindale Allotment Association had also suffered fractured ribs and bruises from being "beaten up", the court heard.

Mr Price told jurors Mohammadi spent five hours at the allotment on the day of the killing and had been seen by two other plot holders.

As a committee member, Mohammadi had his own key to the mower shed, which had been locked from the outside with Mrs Adri-Soejoko's body in it, with her keys in her pocket.

Before his arrest, Mohammadi was twice interviewed as a witness and gave "inconsistent, inaccurate, unsatisfactory and incomplete" accounts of his movements on February 27 last year.

In his first statement, he said he had gone to the victim's house to borrow a key to the allotment main gate because he had lent his to someone else, and said she gave him coffee and he told her another allotment holder, called Celso Gomez, had been "causing problems".

In his account, he said: "Lea told me that the allotments were becoming dangerous. She was very serious when she said this."

He added he went back to her house later to return a tape measure.

He said: "As she reached out to take it, her hands were shaking. Her face had gone completely white.

"She just took it and said 'OK. Bye bye'. I asked her if she was OK, she didn't answer. I left then as I felt she wanted me to leave."

In his second statement, Mohammadi said he had been to Mrs Adri-Soejoko's house many times and "even slept there", although her daughter and granddaughter disputed this.

He said they talked about a dispute between two other plot holders, the court heard.

He told police: "She said that the area had become dangerous and that she would solve the problems."

In his second account, he said she asked for help with carpeting on her staircase and he agreed to fetch a measuring tape.

However, the victim's family said the fact she had wooden floors was a "matter of choice".

The defendant's DNA was also found on the part of lawnmower cord used to strangle her, but after he was charged, DNA from a second man, Mubarick Duat, was identified on the victim's hand.

Mr Price said: "The DNA of Mr Duat on the right hand of Mrs Adri-Soejoko is likely to have got there not very long before her hand was swabbed and, if during her life, not long before she died."

Mr Duat became a second suspect and was "thoroughly investigated", jurors were told, but no connection with the defendant, victim or the allotment was found.

On the day of the killing, police established that he was working as a kitchen porter at a Covent Garden restaurant and then went to Croydon, according to mobile phone data.

He later bought a National Express bus ticket at Victoria in central London and took a coach to Stockton-on-Tees the following day, jurors heard.

Mr Price said: "However it got there, and even if it was on the 27th, the DNA of Mubarick Duat found on the right hand of Mrs Adri-Soejoko could not, in light of the other evidence, have been deposited as a result of direct contact on that day between her and him. He could not have been involved in her murder, whether acting alone or with anyone else."

The defendant denies murder.