A DEVOTED father has died after hearing that justice had finally caught up with his daughter's killer.

Sydney Greenwood, 88, passed away peacefully at his Hampshire home yesterday morning - just hours after David Frediani was found guilty by a California jury of murder.

Brilliant scientist Helena Greenwood, 35, was beaten and strangled at gunpoint by Frediani, 46, at the luxury home near San Diego she shared with husband Roger Franklin in 1985.

The killer was at large for 15 years before being snared by DNA evidence which Helena, a former pupil of Southampton Grammar School for Girls, helped pioneer.

Cancer sufferer Mr Greenwood had clung on to see his dying wish fulfilled. A friend said: "He was a wonderful man. Sydney showed great courage through losing his daughter and his wife in the same year and continued to live his life with great courage.

"It was about 16 hours after he heard the verdict that he died."

Mr Greenwood had told the Daily Echo: "People ask me all the time how I have survived these 15 years and the answer is simple. Helena deserved justice.

"I could not rest in peace until justice for my daughter has been done."

The court was told Frediani killed her to stop her testifying against him for a sexual assault he committed in 1984.

Frediani is expected to be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole at a hearing in Vista, California on March 9.

Mr Greenwood, from Lym-ington in the New Forest, served in the Army during the Second World War and was injured in Germany.

He was a talented artist who took up a position as vice-principal of Southamp-ton College of Art, where hundreds of students benefited from his expert knowledge of watercolours.

His paintings have been exhibited across the country and at major galleries overseas. He was a keen walker and was widely known in yachting circles.

Mr Greenwood's wife, Marjorie, died shortly before Helena.

No date has been set for his funeral.

The family will be reunited in death, with Mr Greenwood's ashes being laid to rest with his wife and daughter at Boldre churchyard, near Lymington.