Two men found guilty after death of man in Ilford

Petra Deliu (l) and Ionel-Octavian Stanciu (r)

Petra Deliu (l) and Ionel-Octavian Stanciu (r) have been jailed. - Credit: Metropolitan Police

Two men have been convicted following the death of a man who was living in a makeshift camp beside the A406 in Ilford.

Victim Ionut Manea died of 100 per cent burns in June 2019.

Ionel-Octavian Stanciu, 37, of no fixed address, had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter in March 2021 and was found guilty of murder and grievous bodily harm with intent on Thursday, July 8 following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Petra Deliu, 52, of no fixed address, was found guilty of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm.

The court heard both men deliberately started a fire at the camp which resulted in the death of Ionut and caused serious injuries to a second man.

Ionut Manea

Ionut Manea died in hospital after suffering 95 per cent burns in the attack. - Credit: Metropolitan Police

Det Sgt Ian Valentine, from the Met's specialist crime command, called this a "tragic" case.

He said: “Ionut Manea came to this country to seek a better life but instead he found himself living in a makeshift camp on wasteland close to a busy road.

"He died in the most horrific circumstances after petrol was poured onto the campsite.

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“The actions of Deliu and Stanciu were very deliberate and today they have been held to account for their actions.”

Police were called at around 11.45pm on June 18, 2019 to reports of a fire on land next to the southbound carriageway of the A406.

Officers, the London Fire Brigade and the London Ambulance Service attended.

They found 38-year-old Ionut and a second man who were living in a temporary wooden hut, suffering from serious injuries.

Ionut suffered almost 100 per cent burns on his body.

He was taken to an east London hospital but later died from his injuries.

The second victim was taken to a specialist burns unit and received treatment for six weeks before being flown back to be with his family in Romania.

Deliu and Stanciu were arrested close to the scene after they were spotted attempting to flag down passing motorists, including a police officer.

Detectives from Specialist Crime launched an investigation to establish the circumstances of the fire and to identify the victims.

Ionut’s next of kin were traced to Romania and he was later identified via familial DNA.

According to police, detectives and fire investigators found that the defendants had purchased petrol from a nearby petrol garage on Ilford Lane and walked to the makeshift hut where they immediately poured petrol over the hut and ignited it.

Traces of petrol were found beside the only door to the hut.

Both occupants were likely engulfed in flames before managing to escape.

Both Deliu and Stanciu were drunk at the time of the act and the reason they set the hut alight remains unclear, police said.

They were both charged with the offences in June 2019 and will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday, July 9.