‘I’m still in shock and devastated - our plans to have a family have been dashed’
17:42 27 June 2014
Mariana Popa and her boyfriend had only moved from Romania to London via Italy three weeks before her death, a jury at her trial at her murder trial heard.
In a statement read to the court, partner Nicolae Drezaliu told jurors Mariana had been pregnant with her second child when she was killed, adding that he only learnt she was working as a prostitute after her death.
“It was while we were in Italy Mariana told me she was pregnant - it was a wanted pregnancy,” Mr Drezaliu said.
“I was left out of work three weeks before so we left for England three or four days later with friends, driving for about 24 hours until we arrived in Ilford.
“Through contacts we got an address in Barking where we rented a room in a flat for a £100 a week, all other tenants were Romanian.
“Two or three days after we moved to the address Mariana went to the Romanian shop on Ilford Lane to buy something.
“When she came back home she told me she had met a woman who told her she will ring if she finds any work for her.
“The next day she went out at about 9pm - she told me she was working at a restaurant about 20 to 30 kilometres away.”
Mr Drezaliu added: “Two or three nights she worked until 12.30am an then one time she didn’t come back until 9am - she told me she had slept at friends, there was no reason to be suspicious at the time.
“After she was murdered police told me it was possible she was working as a prostitute on Ilford Lane.
“I’m still in shock and devastated. Our plans to have a family have been dashed.”