Mariana Popa murder: Eight months on, Ilford Lane businesses say prostitutes still work on the road

07:00 05 June 2014

Mariana Popa was pregnant when she was stabbed to death in Ilford Lane

Mariana Popa was pregnant when she was stabbed to death in Ilford Lane


Prostitution is still a problem in Ilford Lane despite the “cold-blooded and senseless” murder of sex worker Mariana Popa last year, according to nearby businesses.

Farooq Shah, 21, of Station Road, Forest Gate, will be sentenced on June 27 at Woolwich Crown Court after he was found guilty of murdering Miss Popa in the street this week.

Filly Maravala, a former councillor, has campaigned against prostitution on the road for four years.

“The murder of Mariana Popa has not deterred prostitution - there was a school of thought that the girls of the night would stop frequenting Ilford Lane after the murder.

“Over the last week I must have seen seven or eight [prostitutes] as early as 10pm.”

In 2011, Mr Maravala, of Mortlake Road, collected more than 2,500 signatures for a petition to help try to fight the issue.

Jack Wheeler, 85, a resident of 50 years, works in newsagent in Ilford Lane.

He said: “It is still an area where there is violence going on.

“I do not know what the authorities have to do to change it. I do not see why the prostitutes have to work here. ”

Miss Popa, 24, collapsed in the Chicken & Pizza 4U takeaway following the attack by Shah.

The Romanian national worked as a sex worker to earn a living for her family.

On the night she died, she left behind a six-year-old daughter and a boyfriend who thought she worked at a restaurant.

Amarjeet Singh, 23, of Green Lane, Seven Kings, is a manager at an estate agents, also on Ilford Lane.

“There are a lot of prostitutes here, but it has got better because of the police.

“I think [the police presence] is a result of Mariana Popa’s murder.

“A woman should not have to be murdered for them to do something about it.”

But Mr Singh also added: “At the end of the day she should not have been there working as a prostitute.

“It should be a warning for the other prostitutes but they are still there.”

Latest News Stories

Doris Greenstein in the Recorder in 2008. She was one of the original founders of the Redbridge Pensioners Forum and sadly passed away on Saturday. Photo: Jules Dann

One of the founding and most influential members of the Redbridge Pensioners Forum has died aged 93.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes is currently in hospital after having emergency surgery over the weekend.

Mike Gapes has been taken to hospital after suffering “chest pains” on Saturday, and remains there having undergone emergency surgery.

Junior doctors have voted in favour of strike action (Pic:PA)

Junior doctors voted in favour of strike action over contract changes proposed by the Health Secretary.

Specialist care provider Health 1000 holding a networking lunch at the Redbridge Institute of Adult Education.
Dr Jagan John speaking

A specialist healthcare provider held a networking lunch for its service users on Thursday.

Most read news


Nike Trainers

Nike’s motto is ‘to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.’ With this in mind it’s no surprise why Nike is the preferred training gear for most A-list athletes. Get an extra boost in your run or height in your jump with £500 to spend on Nike trainers.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Digital Edition

Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder