Iuliana Tudos death: Man jailed for Finsbury Park barmaid murder

Image source, Metropolitan Police
Image caption,
Kasim Lewis pleaded guilty to murdering 22-year-old Iuliana Tudos

A man has been jailed for 29 years for killing a barmaid whose naked body was found in a park after she went missing on Christmas Eve.

Iuliana Tudos, 22, was discovered dead in a disused building in Finsbury Park, north London, three days later.

Ms Tudos, who was born in Moldova, had been slashed with a broken bottle in the neck, abdomen and wrists.

Kasim Lewis, 31, of Friern Barnet, north London, pleaded guilty to her murder at the Old Bailey on Thursday.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 29 years.

'Wicked beyond belief'

Judge Richard Marks QC said he observed that no evidence suggested Ms Tudos had been sexually assaulted.

But said the fact that Lewis had cable ties with him, suggested there was "sadism" involved, and that he planned to attack someone.

"She must have died a terrible death. What you did to her was wicked beyond belief", he said.

During the attack, Lewis extracted her PIN number and later withdrew cash from her account.

Image source, Iuliana Tudos/Facebook
Image caption,
Iuliana Tudos went missing on Christmas Eve

The court heard Ms Tudos lived in Cyprus, where her parents are from, before moving to London in 2013.

She worked in the World's End pub in Camden High Street.

She had finished her shift at the pub and was planning to spend Christmas with friends after going home to collect her things.

She was picked up on CCTV at 20:33 heading towards the entrance of Finsbury Park.

When she failed to turn up, her friends posted messages on social media, contacted the pub, hospitals and distributed fliers.

Her body was found in a burnt-out shed by her friends, the court heard.

Paramedics described a wound to her chest as looking like the logo for Batman or the letter M, and she had been bound with cable ties, the court heard.

Image source, CPS
Image caption,
CCTV footage was retrieved of Kasim Lewis using Iuliana's bank card

A search of Lewis's phone revealed a trailer for a pornographic film featuring a young woman being chased into an alleyway and then bound with cable ties.

In a statement read to the court, Ms Tudos's stepfather Costas Vassiliou said his daughter was murdered in the most "inhumane way".

He described his "beloved daughter" as "full of energy" and "loved and cherished by all of her friends and family".

"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," he said.

"All of these now are gone.

"As a family we will never get through this."

In court: Alice Evans, BBC London

The public gallery was packed as friends and family came to see Iuliana's killer face justice.

Friends wept and held hands to their mouths as the prosecution described her naked body being found with horrific injuries.

Her mother sobbed as her husband read the family impact statement - saying they and Iuliana's two brothers would never get past their grief.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Vassiliou said the outcome of the sentencing was "very good" and he trusted the judge had made the right decision.

Many of Iuliana's friends who came to court were too upset to speak.

One told me she missed her friend "so much".

She added: "He desecrated the body afterwards which is maybe even more disgusting than the actual killing."

She and another friend said they had been to Cyprus for Iuliana's funeral and that the family support there was "amazing".

"The family have been there for all of us as well," he said, and added that people like Lewis should be sentenced "to die in prison".

Lewis, who was born in Montserrat, entered his plea over a video link from HMP Belmarsh.

He had previously been jailed for an earlier sex attack.

In September 2005, he was handed two years for sexual assault and exposure on a bus and placed on the sex offenders register.

In 2011, he received a further eight months in jail for failing to comply with the sex offender notification requirements and a community order.

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