Daniel Popescu jailed for attempted murder of his pregnant ex-partner in Aberfan | UK News

The 29-year-old was sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison and a further three years on licence.

By Tomos Evans, Wales reporter @TomosGruffydd

Tuesday 28 May 2024 18:08, United Kingdom

A “jealous” man who stabbed his pregnant ex-partner after stalking her for weeks has been jailed for attempted murder, after a court heard how his victim was convinced he would kill her and her unborn child.

Daniel Mihai Popescu, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of Andreea Pintili in Aberfan, Merthyr Tydfil, last December.

Pintilii was 37 weeks pregnant at the time of the attack.

The 29-year-old also pleaded guilty to harassing Pintili between October 25 and December 6, 2023.

He was sentenced to 17 years and four months in prison and a further three years on license as part of an extended sentence. He denied a further charge of intimidating a witness.

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard on Tuesday afternoon that Popescu had been in a relationship with Andreea Pintili since around September 2020.

Prosecutors said Popescu developed a “habit of gambling” and the couple separated around August 2023.

Prosecutor John Hipkin said Popescu had become “obsessed” with Pintili in the months before the attack.

In one incident, on October 31, Popescu “left two bags with his clothes outside his address.”

“He proceeded to leave her a voicemail saying, ‘Don’t touch my clothes, I’m not leaving the street until you get back with me,'” Hipkin said.

“He then repeatedly knocked on her window. As a result of this, the accused was arrested and released on bail, with the condition not to contact Andreea Pintili.”

The victim “tried to free himself”

Mrs Pintili then moved to the Aberfan area, but Popescu found out.

At the time, she was staying with a man named Stephen Phillips.

Prosecutors said Phillips had noticed how Popescu had become “agitated and upset over a period of time” and had told her he was going to “stab his ex-girlfriend’s new partner.”

“On December 5, the accused traveled to Moy Road, Aberfan, where Andreea Pintili was then living,” Hipkin added.

“The accused had armed himself with a knife from the address he was staying at. The knife had a seven to eight inch blade.”

The scene on Moy Road on December 5 after the stabbing. Photo: PA

Local schools and daycares were placed under precautionary closure for several hours when Popescu attacked Ms. Pintili on December 5, 2023.

Southern Officers Welsh Police were called shortly before 9.10am to reports that a woman had been stabbed on Moy Road.

Mrs. Pintili suffered three superficial wounds to her thumb and two penetrating wounds to her back.

Scans revealed her unborn child’s signs of life were normal and she was discharged from the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff the following day.

The court was shown two images, a 19-second clip appearing to show Popescu crouching behind a vehicle with a knife in his hand, and another showing the attack itself.

“The defendant told her that he had a knife and that he was going to kill her,” Hipkin told the court.

“She tried to free herself but fell to the ground. The defendant then proceeded to stab her several times.

“Maybe fortunately, a woman named Kira Terrett was walking her dog nearby. She screamed and ran to try to help and with that the defendant ran away.”

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‘I wasn’t going to stop until I killed myself and my unborn child’

In a victim statement read on her behalf in court, Pintili said she felt “lucky to be alive after this harrowing experience.”

“I have no doubt that if he had gone into the house, he would have killed me. That was clearly his intention that day: to kill me and my unborn child,” he added.

“He was very jealous and couldn’t stand the fact that we had broken up and I had no intention of getting back with him. He wasn’t going to stop until he killed me.”

She said the attack had left her “very anxious when leaving the house” and that she had to “relive this day over and over again.”

Mitigating, David Aubrey KC said Popescu had pleaded guilty and had “desisted from the attack”.

Aubrey also told the court that Popescu suffers from “low mood and anxiety.”

“He has expressed his remorse and regret, which is genuine,” he added.

But, while mitigating, Aubrey said he was not seeking to “minimize the terror the victim experienced at the time of the attack.”

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Sentencing Popescu, Judge Lloyd-Clarke said Popescu felt “very little real remorse.”

“In my opinion, the aggravating factors outweigh the mitigating factors,” he added.

Popescu was banned from contacting Mrs Pintili or any of her children and was also banned from entering Merthyr Tydfil.