Seven Kings woman murdered outside her home by jealous lover, court told

PUBLISHED: 17:22 18 June 2018

Elisabeta Lacatusu. Photo: Met Police

Elisabeta Lacatusu. Photo: Met Police


A Seven Kings woman was stabbed repeatedly by her jealous former lover and left in the street to die as she returned home from work, a court heard.

Jurors at the Old Bailey were today shown CCTV footage which appeared to show Genu Armeanu, 45, pull a knife from his jacket pocket and launch a “frenzied attack” on ex-girlfriend Elisabeta Lacatusu just metres away from her home, in Norfolk Road, on January 3 at around 7pm.

Describing Ms Lacatusu’s injuries, prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward QC said: “A post-mortem examination revealed she had at least 19 incised wounds including a large gaping wound to her neck caused by likely more than one cutting action across her neck.”

The court was told the pair were known to have been in a relationship since late summer 2017 and had known each other since childhood, as they had both grown up in the city of Vaslui in Romania.

Jurors were told Ms Lacatusu’s family were not happy to learn of her relationship with Mr Armeanu and she agreed to end it at their request.

But, it was alleged, Mr Armeanu was “very persistent,” Elisabeta showing her family text messages in which he first threatened to kill himself and then kill her.

On the morning of her death, Elisabeta left home at about 11am to go to a restaurant in Upton Park where she worked.

The court was told that by 10am she had already received three messages from Mr Armeanu.

With her shift ending at 6pm, CCTV shows a man walking up and down Norfolk Road at around 6.40pm while repeatedly attempting to call her.

It then appears to show Elisabeta walking into Norfolk Road, from neighbouring Cameron Road, at around 6.54pm until the man emerges from behind a silver Mercedes van, intercepts her and begins a seemingly calm conversation.

“Quite suddenly, and without any apparent warning or escalation going on between them, the defendant pulled a knife from his right-hand jacket pocket and immediately stabbed Elisabeta in the torso,” said Ms Ledward QC.

She added: “She struggled to get him off and to get away.

“But using her left arm hooked around the back of her head and neck, he held her close and stabbed her repeatedly to the chest and neck area.

“At one point she stumbled clasping her neck.

“But he ran after her, caught up with her behind a nearby car, and held on to her, perhaps having used the knife to stab again.”

The man in the video footage can then be seen to crouch over herfor a few moments as she lies on the floor, before walking away from the scene

Elisabeta’s body is then found by passers-by within a couple of minutes.

“She was lying in a pool of blood and unresponsive.” added Ms Ledward.

“She had no response and appeared lifeless.”

Elisabeta, also known as “Alina,” had three daughters with her former husband Paul Lacatusu, who would regularly visit their home with their partners and children.

The court heard that in November or December 2017, Elisabeta informed her family that Mr Armeanu had begun waiting outside the restaurant in Upton Park where she worked.

A colleague had been giving her a lift home because of this.

On one instance, between midnight and 1am on December 22, Elisabeta called her nephew Robert Cojocaru as he returned home from his work Christmas party.

The jury was told that, waiting in an East Ham minicab office, she appeared upset and scared alleging that Mr Armeanu had a knife in his jacket pocket and would not let her return home by cab.

Mr Armeanu reportedly laughed at this assertion.

The court heard that as Mr Cojocaru put Elisabeta into a cab, he heard Mr Armeanu say: “If I catch you, I kill you.”

Mr Armeanu, of Coleridge Road, Manor Park, denies murder.

The trial continues and is expected to conclude on Thursday, June 21.

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