Aretired postmistress was found battered to death at her home in Hornchurch, East London.

Her husband has been charged with her murder.

Tarsame Singh, aged 79, handed himself into a police station near the couple’s home on the evening of May 2, 2023.

Officers and paramedics rushed to the home just after 9:30 pm and found 77-year-old Maya Devi with severe head injuries.

She was pronounced dead a short while later.

The couple ran the post office in nearby Rainham for many years before recently retiring.

Ms Devi regularly visited the Havering Asian Social and Welfare Association (HASWA) community centre close to her home, where she practised yoga and met friends for lunch.

Nirmala Leal, an outreach worker at HASWA and a close friend, saw her a few hours before her death.

Ms Leal said: “I spoke to Maya yesterday afternoon, about 1:30 pm, and she seemed to be in a good mood.

“In fact, she was excited as she was going on holiday next week

“She had come to the community centre for yoga, which she did every week, and told me that she wouldn’t be in from Wednesday as she was going to Lanzarote for six days with a female friend.

“Maya was such a lovely lady, really warm-hearted. She loved singing as much as yoga and had a smile for everyone.

“I can’t believe this has happened and that she has gone.

“I saw her just a few hours before her death, it doesn’t seem real that I won’t see her again.”

Originally from India, Ms Devi had been living in the UK for more than 50 years.

Manjit Singh, HASWA’s project development officer, said:

“Maya had been coming here for the last four years and was a really popular member.

“She would turn up at least four days a week.

“To begin with she was quiet and fairly withdrawn but gradually she came out of her shell and was full of so much fun and happiness.