Case: Neasden stabbing: Andra Hilitanu
Andra Hilitanu
Case unsolved
Status: Solved
Categories: Domestic
Case synopsis:

Andra Hilitanu, 28, was stabbed to death by her partner on 1 June 2018.

Police and paramedics were called to the address in Neasden Lane, Neasden, at around 2.30am.

Ms Hilitanu, a Romanian national who was 30 weeks pregnant, was pronounced dead at the scene at 2.44am.

A post-mortem gave the provisional cause of death as stab wound to the neck. Her unborn child also died as a result of lack of oxygen due to the death of its mother.

On 2 June 2018 her partner Ioan Campeanu, 43 (27.06.74), a Romanian national of Neasden Lane, Neasden, was charged with murder.

He went on trial at the Old Bailey on 3 December 2018 and was convicted of murder and child destruction on 21 December 2018. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 26 years before parole on 10 January 2019.

The court heard Campeanu dialled 999 at 2.24am and told a call handler that he had killed his girlfriend with some scissors.

He said: "She's dead, I killed her. I am on drugs. That’s the planets. That’s what people wanted…Only one of us should live.”

Campeanu told police at the scene that he had killed her two-and-a-half hours earlier. Further investigation revealed he had left the house after the murder at around 12.44am to go for a drive.

The court heard Andra had left her husband and children to start a relationship with Campeanu in 2016 and they were both heavy users of crack cocaine. Witnesses said that it was an abusive relationship and Campeanu had previously kicked Andrea and threatened to kill her and had forced her to take cocaine and steal items to fund their addiction. No allegations of abuse were ever reported.

They had told their landlord of their rented flat in Neasden Lane that Andra was returning to Romania on 28 May but on 30 May Campeanu said they had no money and nowhere else to go.

The next day Andra spoke to her family in Italy about leaving Campeanu and travelling to Italy or Romania. Another tenant contacted the landlord at around midnight to say that the couple were arguing. He heard Andra screaming.

Campeanu called his daughter shortly after midnight to say: "I got rid of her, take care of yourself."

Mr Justice Jacobs told Campeanu: "You have never shown any remorse for what happened that night to Ms Hilitanu and your unborn child.

"This was a prolonged and brutal attack in which you showed her no mercy. The terror and agony which she must have suffered are too terrible to contemplate.

"She died a horrible death, being left to bleed to death after a prolonged attack in a country far from home. She could have survived if the emergency services had been called at that time."

Detective Inspector Jamie Stevenson, from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command who led the investigation, said: “This was Campeanu’s final act of brutality against Andra after months and years of domestic violence. He attacked a defenceless Andra and their unborn child and plunged a pair of scissors into her neck. He then left them both to die as he went for a drive, deliberately not summoning help for more than two hours, cruelly ensuring that both Andra and the child she was carrying were dead.

“Despite initially admitting his guilt to the attending officers, Campeanu has since refused to take responsibility for his despicable actions. He has unnecessarily put Andra’s family through even more pain and suffering by forcing them to re-live Andra’s murder at trial. My heart goes out to Andra’s friends and family and I hope today’s guilty verdict gives them at least a small measure of comfort and closure.

“We will never know if reporting the abuse she suffered could have saved Andra, but I would implore anyone who is suffering or knows of someone suffering domestic abuse to call police immediately. Your call will be treated in the strictest confidence and could ultimately save someone’s life and save you from suffering from years of regret.”

Andra's sister Ramona Hilitanu said in a statement: "Andra was my younger sister. She was one of four siblings. We lost our parents early in life so we had to be close to one another to care for ourselves. Our lives took us to different countries and we often spent a long time apart but we would remain in contact regularly.

"Andra met and fell in love with Ioan Campeanu. Ultimately she was taken away from us by this man. As the result of Campeanu's actions, we, as a family, face the remainder of our lives with a huge part missing. I personally have lost a part of my life that I will never regain. This also applies to the rest of my family as they have lost too.

"Obviously, I know that Andra has gone and has gone forever. What Campeanu has ripped from us the most is the future. Time together with Andra has been taken away from us. The chance to meet again has been taken away from us. The chance to travel to other countries, to have holidays together and experience life together has been taken away.

"It is not possible to accurately describe how upset I am regarding the murder of Andra. The impact on me has been huge. I cannot sleep properly, daily life is difficult to manage, I cry all the time and Andra is constantly in my thoughts. I ache to hear her voice again and to hear her laugh. I long to see her children grow and develop by her side but I am so sad that this will never happen.

"I am aware that families and friends sometimes fall out and not speak for periods. Sadly, towards the end of her life Andra and I were not enjoying the type of relationship that sisters should be enjoying, as we were not talking as much as we should have been. We had time to correct this and make things right. On the 1 June 2018, that time was snatched away from us and I will spend the rest of my life knowing that I will never be able to re-build a relationship with Andra.

"Andra was only 28 years old when she was murdered. Her future has taken away in a cruel manner.

"I do not hate Ioan Campeanu. I am not a hateful person. I am sad at what he has done. I am also frustrated at the way in which he left Andra to die. Ioan Campeanu could have sought help from so many sources and yet chose to do nothing. I will never be able to forget this fact."

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