A man who violently attacked and killed a woman as she headed out to meet friends on Christmas Eve has been jailed at the Old Bailey today [Thursday 17 May].
Kasim Lewis, 31 (10.10.1986), of Freirn Barnet Road, Barnet, pleaded guilty at the same court today to the murder of 22-year-old Iuliana Lilith Tudos.
He has been sentenced to 29 years for the vicious murder which took place in Finsbury Park in December 2017.
Lead investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:
"Iuliana was killed as she walked through Finsbury Park on her way to spend Christmas with her friends. Tragically her journey brought her in to contact with Kasim Lewis who took her life in a shockingly violent manner. I have no doubt that women in London are safer for the fact that Lewis is behind bars. My thoughts are today with Iuliana's family and her loyal friends who searched for her over Christmas last year."
On Sunday, 24 December 2017 at around 20:00hrs Iuliana parted company with her friends in Camden to return to her home in Finsbury Park, Haringey, intending to collect some belongings before re-joining her friends to celebrate Christmas.
Iuliana's friends became concerned when she failed to re-join them. They reported her as a missing person to Enfield borough, and arranged a search of routes through Finsbury Park that they thought she was likely to have taken.
Consequently, on 27 December 2017 at around 16:15hrs they found Iuliana's naked body in a disused, burnt out shed in the north-east corner of the park.
A post-mortem examination held on 28 December at Haringey Mortuary gave primary cause of death as a stab wound to the abdomen and blunt force trauma to the head. Iuliana had also suffered incised wounds to her neck, wrists and chest. Glass fragments recovered from her injuries indicated that many were likely to have been caused by a bottle.
Officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command launched a thorough investigation identifying Kasim Lewis following his use of Iuliana's bank in Tottenham Court Road after the murder.
On 31 December officers conducted a search warrant at Mr Lewis' home address and whilst he was not present at the address a number of items were recovered which were to provide forensic links to Iuliana.
On 1 January 2018 Mr Lewis was located and arrested at a friend's address in East London. He was arrested for Iuliana's murder and on reply to caution said "I did it." A search of the address provided further links between him and Iuliana's murder.
Mr Lewis was interviewed by police but made 'no comment'. He was subsequently charged with Iuliana's murder on 2 January 2018.
In an impact statement read out to the court, Iuliana's family said: "As parents we have lost our beloved daughter. Our two sons have lost their sister. Relatives and friends have lost their dearest Iuliana.
"She was murdered in the most repelling and inhuman way, a disgrace to the human race.
"As a youngster, Iuliana was full of energy and had many goals in her life. She never caused any trouble at school or at home. She lived with us in Cyprus from the age of three (when her mother and I got married and once her mother had been granted full sole custody of Iuliana). She was loved and cherished by all her family, relatives and friends in Cyprus and we were living a quiet and happy family life.
"When she got older her goal, like many other people her age, was to study in the UK. We supported her when she achieved this dream and moved to the UK although we were sorry to see her go. She studied hard and worked hard to help fund her living costs in the UK. She was a shining example to many other young people who were planning a similar path. We felt proud of her as the diploma from a UK university would help her get a good job.
"As parents our dream was for Iuliana to get back to Cyprus after her graduation, get a job, get married and have children, our grandchildren. All of these now are gone. As a family we will never get through this. The only thing that gives us strength is that Iuliana is now safe in God's hands.
"What happened to her was not an accident or an illness, she was murdered. All her dreams have been lost. This gives us great sadness.
"Her mother, her two brothers and I are all very proud and honoured to have known Iuliana, a beautiful daughter and sister."