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‘Violent and controlling’ man jailed for murder after stabbing his partner in the back with scissors

A man has been sent to prison for a minimum of 21 years for murder, after he stabbed his partner in the back with a pair of scissors in south-east London.

Vasile Bratu, 39, was found guilty of the murder of his partner Constanta Bunea, 49, at Woolwich Crown Court on Thursday (October 21) and sentenced to life imprisonment the same day, with a minimum term of 21 years.

Paramedics were called to the flat the couple shared in Ravine Grove in Plumstead on April 4 at about 2.15 in the morning and found her bleeding heavily from a wound caused by a pair of scissors  in her back.

She was pronounced dead at the scene and a murder investigation was launched.

Victim Constanta Bunea

Police arrested Bratu, despite him claiming at first that Constanta had fallen onto the scissors when he forced entry into the bathroom.

The court heard how Constanta and Bratu had begun a relationship in August 2019, when she came to the UK. Her family had been concerned that Bratu was using violence and was manipulative and controlling of her.

When her relatives asked Constanta on video calls about the injuries she had appeared to suffer, he  would intervene and ask them if they were accusing him of hurting her.

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Police have urged women who are suffering at the hands of their partner to come forward, saying that they will be “supported, with respect and dignity”.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Kieran of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command added: “Vasile Bratu is a violent and controlling man and I am pleased that the jury have convicted him for murdering Constanta.

“Constanta came to the UK in order to provide a better life for her family back in Romania, but soon after meeting Bratu it appears she became overwhelmed by his manipulative behaviour. This behaviour then led to violence which tragically ended in Constanta’s murder.

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“I would urge any person who is suffering at the hands of their partner to seek help; there are many people who can support you including the police. You will be listened to and supported, with respect and dignity, and any crime will be investigated fully.”

If you are a victim of domestic abuse but would rather not go to the police, there are many other services that can help you.

Click here to visit Refuge, which provides support for victims of domestic abuse.

Click here for support specifically aimed at men suffering from domestic abuse.

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