Ilford fire death: Men jailed for 'sickening' hut attack

Ionut Manea

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

Two men have been jailed after burning down a makeshift hut in Ilford and killing one of its occupants.

Petra Deliu, 54, from Canning Town, and Ionel-Octavian Stanciu, 39, from Westminster, poured petrol over the wooded hut next to the A406 in June 2019.

Although 38-year-old victim Ionut Manea made it out of the burning hut, he had suffered 95 per cent burns all over his body and died in hospital the next day.

Another man, aged 39, managed to escape from the fire but suffered 45 pc burns all over his body.

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

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

Stanciu had purchased a four-litre jerry can and filled it with petrol from a Shell station before he and Deliu headed out to the hut, following a disagreement over who could live there.

The blaze engulfed the hut, burning it to the ground and could be seen from as far as the North Circular Road, where witnesses flagged down police who rushed to the scene.

Today (Friday, July 9), Stanciu was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 31 years after being convicted of murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Deliu was found guilty of grievous bodily harm in the same trial, and found guilty of manslaughter at an earlier hearing.

He was sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison.

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Louise Attrill, from the Crown Prosecution Service, called the fire a "sickening" and "targeted" attack on two men sleeping inside the comfort of their own home.

She added: “Stanciu appeared to hold some kind of vicious grudge that led him to him recruiting Deliu, before purchasing petrol and making the determined 40-minute walk to the hut from the petrol station.

“As a result of these appalling actions, one man has lost his life and another has been left with life-changing burns, which will act as a constant reminder of that horrific night for the rest of his life.

“Stanciu and Deliu acted together and they acted deliberately to cause serious harm.

"They initially told police at the scene that the two injured men were their friends, and that they had been invited to a barbecue before witnessing the explosion.

"The prosecution case included CCTV footage, forensic fire analysis and strong witness testimony from the brave surviving victim who flew over from Romania to give evidence in person."

“I hope this conviction gives the surviving victim and the family and friends of Ionut Manea some comfort in the knowledge that these men will now be jailed for a long time and will no longer pose a threat.”


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