Ioan Campeanu gets minimum 26 years for killing Andra Hilitanu and their unborn daughter at their Neasden Lane home

Ioan Campeanu. Picture: Met Police

Ioan Campeanu. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A Neasden man who stabbed to death his heavily pregnant girlfriend and unborn child has been jailed for a minimum of 26 years.

Andra Hilitanu. Picture: Met Police

Andra Hilitanu. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

Ioan Campeanu, 44, plunged a pair of scissors into 28-year-old Andra Hilitanu’s neck at the bedsit they shared in Neasden Lane in the early hours of June 1 in a “final act of brutality”.

“Habitual thief” and drug addict Campeanu was found guilty of murdering his seven-month pregnant partner and the “destruction” of their unborn daughter.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 26 years, with 14 years for the death of the child to run concurrently, at the Old Bailey today.

Ms Hilitanu’s body was found by police in the property’s communal bathroom with more than 80 sharp and blunt injuries, including to her genitals, and a fatal wound to her neck.

Andra Hilitanu. Picture: Facebook

Andra Hilitanu. Picture: Facebook - Credit: Archant

Campeanu took more than two hours to call the emergency services. He instead smoked crack cocaine, went for a drive around London, and phoned his ex-wife and daughter.

When he finally called 999 to report the stabbing he said: “She’s dead. I killed her.”

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The court heard Ms Hilitanu’s injuries were all “survivable” and it was possible it could have taken more than 20 minutes for her to die.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Jacobs said Ms Hilitanu suffered a “horrible” death, bleeding to death alone and far from her home country.

The killing came after years of domestic violence at the hands of Campeanu, who was brought up in a “brutal” Romanian orphanage.

He had previous convictions in Romania and England for robbery, theft and criminal damage, used to finance his drug addiction.

Ms Hilitanu had left her violent husband and two children aged six and nine to live with Campeanu.

The father of her unborn child tried to argue in his defence that her injuries were self-inflicted, the court heard.

The judge rejected his claim that his victim had inflicted wounds on her pelvis herself because she did not want her baby.

He told Campeanu: “This was a prolonged and brutal attack in which you showed her no mercy.

“The terror and agony which she must have suffered are awful to contemplate.”

In a statement, the victim’s sister Romona said Ms Hilitanu was one of four siblings who were brought close together following the death of their parents early in life.

“Obviously, I know that Andra has gone and has gone forever,” she said. “What Campeanu has ripped from us the most is the future.”

She added: “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.”

Det Insp Jamie Stevenson, from the Met’s murder squad who led the investigation, said: “This was Campeanu’s final act of brutality against Andra after months and years of domestic violence.

My heart goes out to Andra’s friends and family and I hope today’s sentencing 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.”

You can call police on 101.