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Man jailed for attempted murder of pregnant woman in Aberfan

28 May 2024 4 minute read
Armed police on Wyndham Street in Aberfan after the attack. Photo Andrew Matthews PA Wire

A man who stabbed a woman who was pregnant with his child, on a street in South Wales, has been jailed for more than 17 years.

Daniel Mihai Popescu, 29, hid behind a parked car with a large knife and waited for Andreea Pintili to return home to Coronation Place, Aberfan, on December 5, 2023.

As she tried to run from him, she fell to the floor and Popescu repeatedly stabbed her.

Popescu, of no fixed address, only stopped his assault when confronted by a member of the public.

UHW

Ms Pintili, who was 29 at the time of the incident and 37 weeks pregnant with Popescu’s child, was taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff for treatment and later discharged.

Schools were placed under lockdown for several hours during the incident.

Popescu pleaded guilty to attempted murder and stalking at a hearing earlier this year.

Appearing at Merthyr Crown Court on Tuesday, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke, Recorder of Cardiff, handed Popescu a 20-year and four-month extended sentence, comprising 17 years and four months in jail and a further three years on licence, when he will be monitored.

Judge Lloyd-Clarke said the extended sentence was needed to “protect the public in the future” and despite his guilty pleas said it was “apparent you feel very little true remorse”.

Popescu must serve two-thirds of his sentence behind bars before the parole board will consider whether he is safe to be released.

The court heard Popescu and Ms Pintili had been in a relationship for about three years until August 2023.

He refused to accept her decision to end the relationship and began stalking her, leaving her messages, knocking on her window and calling her from a withheld number.

Released on bail

He was arrested and released on bail, with a condition not to contact Ms Pintili.

Judge Lloyd-Clarke said: “On December 1 2023 you messaged your sister to say that you had found out where Ms Pintili was living and that she had, as you believed, got back together with her former partner.

“You sent two other messages to your sister, one of which included the phrase ‘whores must die’.

“You told the person that you were staying with that you were going to stab Ms Pintili’s new partner.”

On December 6 he travelled to Aberfan, taking a large knife with him, and waited for Ms Pintili to return from dropping her children off at school, hiding behind a parked car.

The judge said: “You grabbed her by the arm of her jacket, you told her to go in the house, that you had a knife and that you would kill her if she did not do what you said.

“Ms Pintili turned and tried to run away but she fell to the floor.

“While she was on the floor you stabbed her a number of times, she held her stomach to try to protect her unborn child, she was 37 weeks pregnant with your child.”

A woman passing by saw what was happening, screamed and tried to help Ms Pintili and Popescu ran away.

The unborn child was unharmed.

Sustained act of violence

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Inspector James Morris said: “Daniel Popescu armed himself with a knife and lay in wait for his victim before launching a senseless and sustained act of violence in the middle of the street.

“I can only imagine the fear she must have felt and the impact this disturbing incident has had on her.

“It is clear from the sheer vicious and sustained force he used that his intention was to kill her.

“The strength and bravery of the victim in supporting this prosecution has been extraordinary.

“Unsurprisingly she remains psychologically scarred as a result of the incident, but I know that, thanks to her courage, Daniel Popescu will be unable to harm any further women.

“I hope that today’s sentence will bring at least a degree of closure for her.

“I must also commend the actions of the courageous member of the public for their bravery in running to help the victim after the attack.”

Jordan Jones, senior crown prosecutor at CPS Cymru-Wales, said: “This was an unprovoked, vicious attack that had a great effect on not only the victim, but the wider community as local schools were forced into shut down until the police were able to detain the defendant shortly after the attack.

“I hope the sentencing of this defendant brings a sense of justice to both the victim and the wider community affected by the defendant’s actions.”


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