Merthyr Tydfil: Man jailed for attempted murder of pregnant ex

Image source, South Wales Police

Screenshot, Daniel Popescu tried to murder his ex-girlfriend Andreea Pintili while she was walking home from the school run.

A “jealous” man who stabbed his heavily pregnant ex-girlfriend as she walked home from her school run has been jailed for 17 years and four months.

Daniel Popescu, 29, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to attempting to murder Andreea Pintili in Aberfan, Merthyr Tydfil, on December 5, 2023, as well as stalking offences.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard he hid behind a parked car with a large knife and waited for Ms Pintili to return home after taking her children to school.

“His intention that day was to kill me and my unborn child,” she said in her victim impact statement.

  • Author, Matt Murray
  • Role, BBC News
  • Reporting from Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court

Prosecutor John Hipkin KC told the court that Popescu had been in a relationship with Pintili from September 2020 to August 2023, when she ended it due to his gambling addiction.

He then became obsessed with her and, between October 25 and December 5, stalked and harassed Ms Pintili by following her and attempting to call her from hidden numbers.

She also posted a video of herself on TikTok, sitting outside her house and leaving her clothes in two black bags on her doorstep before leaving her a voicemail saying, “I’m not going anywhere until you come back to me.” .

Popescu was arrested and ordered not to contact Mrs Pintili, who had moved to Aberfan.

Image source, Andreea Pintili

Screenshot, Andreea Pintili was pregnant with her attacker’s child when she was stabbed

On December 5, Ms Pintili heard footsteps behind her as she returned to her home in Coronation Place shortly after 9am after dropping her children off at school.

Popescu told him: “I have a knife and I am going to kill you.”

She tried to run but fell to the ground, where he stabbed her repeatedly with an 8in (20cm) knife.

The court heard her instinct was to protect her unborn child as she was 37 weeks pregnant.

video subtitles, Daniel Popescu was caught on CCTV stalking before stabbing his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

The court was able to view CCTV of the incident, which included screams from a passer-by who ran over and tried to stop Popescu, who fled the scene.

Popescu was described by Pintili as a jealous man who could not face the fact that they had separated.

In her personal victim statement, she said: “I feel lucky to be alive after this harrowing experience.

“He told me he had a knife and to come into the house. I have no doubt that if he had gone into the house he would have killed me.”

video subtitles, The moment Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke imposes a 17-year prison sentence on Daniel Popescu

David Aubrey KC, defending, told the court that despite the terror to which Mrs Pintili was subjected, “the physical harm was not serious”.

He said Popescu was sleeping rough at the time and had been told he was the child’s father but would not be part of his life.

He said Popescu suffered from bad moods and anxiety and had a history of losing his temper and becoming angry.

“He doesn’t argue that this was a justification for what he did,” Aubrey said.

“And he has expressed his regret, which is genuine.”

Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said the offending was aggravated by the fact Popescu was on bail on condition not to contact Ms Pintili.

He said the sentencing extension was necessary to “protect the public in the future” and, despite his guilty pleas, added that it was “apparent that he feels very little true remorse.”

Popescu will serve two-thirds of his prison sentence before he can be considered for release and will also serve three years on licence.

He was also given a “rare” indefinite restraining order to protect Ms Pintili and her children from further assault or harassment.

Image source, Welsh News Service

Screenshot, Daniel Mihai Popescu was sleeping outdoors at the time of the stabbing

The judge banned him from “contacting Andreea Pintili or any of the children directly or indirectly by any means and he must not enter Merthyr Tydfil”, adding that he could face a further five years in prison for any offence.

Jordan Jones, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “This was a cruel and unprovoked attack which had a huge effect not only on the victim but also on the wider community as local schools were forced to closed until the police could arrest the accused.

Inspector James Morris praised the victim’s extraordinary “strength and bravery in supporting this prosecution”.