Birmingham & Black Country

Pizza shop worker murdered boss who offered him help

Masoud Esmailian Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Masoud Esmailian (pictured) "took pity" on Andrei Ilie when he asked for work at Roma Pizza, Winson Green

A pizza shop worker who murdered his boss hours after being given a job has been jailed for life.

Masoud Esmailian, 46, "took pity" on Andrei Illie, 22, who said he owed someone money and needed work and accommodation, West Midlands Police said.

But Ilie stabbed the father-of-two, who had the shop's takings with him, at his West Bromwich flat.

Ilie was extradited from Romania over Mr Esmailian's death in August 2015.

"He left his blood-stained clothes at the scene and the cash was never found," a police spokesman said.

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Ilie was told he must serve a minimum term of 17 years at Birmingham Crown Court where he was found guilty of murder on 21 June.

Police said the jury could not reach a verdict on the robbery charge which will lie on file.

Ilie walked into Roma Pizza, Winson Green, which was ran by Mr Esmailian and his son, on 28 August.

Mr Esmailian knew him as the cousin of another worker and gave him work preparing food and cleaning the shop.

'Time of need'

Officers said forensic evidence included a blood-stained knife and towel found to contain Ilie's DNA.

He was arrested for robbery after arriving in Romania and was in prison for three years before being extradited.

Det Insp Justin Spanner, who led the investigation, said: "This was an unprovoked attack on a man who was simply trying to help Ilie in a time of need."

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Andrei Ilie pleaded not guilty to murder and robbery

Mr Esmailian's family said: "We miss him dearly and have ourselves been robbed of all the future celebrations he won't be there to enjoy with us."

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