A “wicked” predator who battered a vulnerable young woman to death in a converted shipping container and buried her body in woods has been jailed for life.
Neculai Paizan, 64, was found guilty of murdering 20-year-old Agnes Dora Akom in north-west London after a trial at the Old Bailey.
Following the verdict, Ms Akom’s family accused him of “dragging her through the mud” in death as a result of his lies about her, in which he falsely claimed she was a sex worker and that she had poisoned him with iced coffee.
On Monday, Judge Richard Marks QC said Paizan had shown no remorse as he jailed him for life with a minimum term of 22 years.
He told him: “It is clear on your lengthy evidence that you remain in a complete state of denial as to what you did in that frenzy of violence that took away that young girl’s life at the age of 20.
“These were shocking acts of wickedness on your part.”
The judge praised Metropolitan Police investigators for their “exceptional” work in bringing Paizan to justice.
On Paizan’s possible motive, Judge Marks suggested he launched into the violent assault after she told him: “Don’t touch me.”
The court had heard how Paizan hit his victim at least 20 times over the head with a jigsaw power tool during the brutal assault in Brent, north-west London, on May 9 last year.
Afterwards, he was captured on CCTV calmly washing his hands and face before bundling her body into the boot of his car inside a bag.
The next day, he transported her to Neasden Recreation Ground where he used a wheelie bin to transport her to woodland where he buried her beneath a pile of logs and branches.
Over the coming days, Paizan visited the park where he had hidden the body five times while telling his son he wanted to go back to Romania.
Ms Akom, a coffin-maker from Hungary, was reported missing by her concerned boyfriend, with whom she lived in Cricklewood.
With her head in a black plastic bag, her badly decomposed body was discovered by police sniffer dogs on June 14 last year, a week before her 21st birthday.
The police investigation led officers to Ms Akom’s last known location, Paizan’s rented container.
An examination of the container revealed heavy blood stains matched to the victim despite “vigorous attempts” to clean it up.
Ms Akom’s blood was also found in the defendant’s car.
Her clothes had been bagged and discarded in a skip along with the blood-stained jigsaw with Ms Akom’s hairs stuck to it.
Initially, Paizan told police he had killed Ms Akom in “self-defence” but went on to to give a different story in his evidence to jurors during his trial.
Paizan, a concrete mixer driver, admitted moving the body but denied murdering the young woman he knew as Dora, falsely claiming she poisoned him with iced coffee.
He described how he came to love her “like a daughter” after finding her begging for small change in a supermarket car park.
However, the evidence suggested that he had preyed on her vulnerability and targeted her with the promise of money.
They met 54 times over the 12 months before the murder, and jurors were shown photographs Paizan took of Ms Akom semi-naked, the court heard.
In a victim impact statement, Ms Akom’s mother described how her daughter and her boyfriend Peter Lenart had moved to Britain from Hungary for a “new life”.
Reading her statement, prosecutor Jake Hallam QC said the young couple’s hopes had been “thoroughly extinguished through the actions of this defendant”.
Ms Akom’s mother said Paizan had dragged her daughter’s name “through the mud after her death” and “presented himself as a victim” to the jury.
She added: “But he is the one who is a liar.”
In his statement, Mr Lenart outlined the problems the couple had in Britain due to their youth and “lack of money”
He too described Paizan’s lies to the jury as compounding his grief, saying: “I have had to hear Paizan say Agnes slept with 15 or 20 people a day – these are really hurtful comments. She did not do these things. She was not a prostitute.
“She was my love, my partner and my best friend. He preyed on her vulnerabilities and knew it.”
The court heard in mitigation that Paizan had been attacked in prison three times due to the nature of his crime and was likely to die behind bars.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, of Scotland Yard, said: “Our thoughts remain with Agnes’s family and friends, who not only have suffered from her loss, but have had to endure hearing the details of her murder during this trial.
“The level of violence Paizan used in his attack on Agnes was truly horrific. What she suffered inside the container does not bear thinking about.
“Whilst it is not clear why he killed her that day, his attempts to hide his crime in the following hours and days show a calculated effort to ensure that, not only was Agnes never found, but that he would not be caught.
“During his testimony at the Old Bailey, Paizan concocted a number of stories in an attempt to paint Agnes in a bad light. Our investigation, and what we know about Agnes, tell us that whilst she was vulnerable, he has clearly lied about her background and personal situation in an attempt to sway the jury.
“It is likely that he preyed upon these vulnerabilities to abuse her, ultimately leading to her murder.”