Mariana Popa trial: Man, 21, found guilty of prostitute’s murder
PUBLISHED: 17:58 02 June 2014 | UPDATED: 13:28 04 June 2014
A man has been found guilty of the “cold-blooded, senseless” murder of sex worker Mariana Popa in Ilford Lane last year.
Farooq Shah, 21, of Station Road, Forest Gate, was convicted at Woolwich Crown Court of stabbing Miss Popa to death shortly before midnight on October 28.
Miss Popa, a mother-of-one pregnant with her second child, collapsed in the Chicken & Pizza 4U takeaway following the attack by Shah, described by police today as someone who killed “because he thought he could get away with it”.
“This was a cold-blooded, senseless murder by a man who went out that night, armed with a knife, intent on using it to commit serious injury to someone,” said Det Insp Darren Richards.
“He had already threatened and robbed a vulnerable man with a knife earlier that night, and he was hanging around the Ilford Lane area, looking for another victim.
“He killed Mariana because she was there, because he thought he could get away with it.
“In doing so, he has deprived a young daughter of her mother. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of Mariana.”
Miss Popa, a 24-year-old Romanian national, had arrived in the UK only weeks before the attack. On the night of the incident, police had issued her with a caution for soliciting.
Shah was also convicted today of carrying out a knife-point robbery in Upton Park less than an hour before Miss Popa’s murder.
He will be sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on June 27.