Mariana Popa trial: ‘I’m not an ugly man,’ prostitute murder accused tells jury
PUBLISHED: 16:48 02 June 2014 | UPDATED: 18:33 02 June 2014
A man accused of stabbing a pregnant Romanian prostitute to death on Ilford Lane today told a jury he would not pay for sex because “I’m not an ugly man”.
Farooq Shah, 21, allegedly attacked 24-year-old Mariana Popa while patrolling the notorious stretch of road on his bicycle.
Miss Popa had been in Britain for just three weeks and was trying to earn the money to support her family when she was stabbed.
After her killer rode away on his bike Miss Popa staggered into Chicken & Pizza 4U and collapsed in a pool of blood.
A postmortem that she was six weeks pregnant with her second child.
Jurors have been played CCTV footage of Miss Popa’s killer waiting on the forecourt of a BP garage close to where prostitutes were working on Ilford Lane in the late hours of October 28.
Asked whether he had challenged Miss Popa to move on, Shah said: “Having prostitutes there don’t mean anything, that’s their hustle, that’s what they do, they don’t offend me either way”.
“I would never want to buy sex or use a prostitute, that’s disgusting, humiliating.
“I would never, ever do that, I’d never pay money for sex. Look at me - I’m not an ugly man.”
Shah, of Station Road, Forest Gate, east London, denies murdering Miss Popa.
The jury is due to consider its verdict later today after Judge Christopher Kinch QC concludes his summing up.