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‘Wicked’ predator jailed for life for murdering woman in shipping container

Neculai Paizan, 64, was given a minimum term of 22 years for the murder of vulnerable 20-year-old Agnes Dora Akom.

25 July 2022

A “wicked” predator who battered a vulnerable young woman to death in a converted shipping container and buried her body in woods has been jailed for life.

Romanian Neculai Paizan, 64, was found guilty of murdering Agnes Dora Akom, 20, in north-west London following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Following the verdict, Ms Akom’s family accused him of “dragging her through the mud” in death as a result of his lies about her, in which he falsely claimed she was a sex worker and that she had poisoned him with iced coffee.

On Monday, Judge Richard Marks QC said Paizan had shown no remorse as he jailed him for life with a minimum term of 22 years.

Neculai Paizan in court
Neculai Paizan was jailed for life for the ‘wicked’ murder of Agnes Akom (Met Police/PA)

Judge Marks told him: “It is clear on your lengthy evidence that you remain in a complete state of denial as to what you did in that frenzy of violence that took away that young girl’s life at the age of 20.

“These were shocking acts of wickedness on your part.”

The judge praised the Metropolitan Police investigators for their “exceptional” work in bringing Paizan to justice.

On Paizan’s possible motive, Judge Marks suggested he launched into the violent assault after she told him: “Don’t touch me.”

The court had heard how Paizan hit his petite victim at least 20 times over the head with a jigsaw power tool during the brutal assault in Brent, north-west London, on May 9 last year.

Afterwards, he was captured on CCTV calmly washing his hands and face before bundling her body into the boot of his car inside a bag.

The next day, he transported her to Neasden Recreation Ground where he used a wheelie bin to transport her to woodland where he buried her beneath a pile of logs and branches.

Neculai Paizan in court
Neculai Paizan entering the shipping container where he murdered Agnes Akom (Met Police/PA)

Over the coming days, Paizan visited the park where he had hidden the body five times while telling his son he wanted to go back to Romania.

Ms Akom, a coffin-maker from Hungary, was reported missing by her concerned boyfriend, with whom she lived in Cricklewood.

With her head in a black plastic bag, her badly decomposed body was discovered by police sniffer dogs on June 14 last year, a week before her 21st birthday.

The police investigation led officers to Ms Akom’s last known location, Paizan’s rented container.

Neculai Paizan in court
Neculai Paizan dumping Ms Akom’s coat in a skip (Met Police/PA)

An examination of the container revealed heavy blood stains matched to the victim despite “vigorous attempts” to clean it up.

Ms Akom’s blood was also found in the defendant’s car.

Her clothes had been bagged and discarded in a skip along with the blood-stained jigsaw with Ms Akom’s hairs stuck to it.

Initially, Paizan told police he had killed Ms Akom in “self-defence” but went on to to give a different story in his evidence to jurors during his trial.

Paizan, a concrete mixer driver, admitted moving the body but denied murdering the young woman he knew as Dora, falsely claiming she poisoned him with iced coffee.

He described how he came to love her “like a daughter” after finding her begging for small change in a supermarket car park.

However, the evidence suggested that he had preyed on her vulnerability and targeted her with the promise of money.

They met 54 times over the 12 months before the murder, and jurors were shown photographs Paizan took of Ms Akom semi-naked, the court heard.

Neculai Paizan in court
Inside the shipping container of Neculai Paizan (Met Police/PA)

In a victim impact statement, Ms Akom’s mother described how her daughter and her boyfriend Peter Lenart had moved to Britain from Hungary for a “new life”.

Reading her statement, prosecutor Jake Hallam QC said the young couple’s hopes had been “thoroughly extinguished through the actions of this defendant”.

Ms Akom’s mother said Paizan had dragged her daughter’s name “through the mud after her death” and “presented himself as a victim” to the jury.

She added: “But he is the one who is a liar.”

In his statement, Mr Lenart outlined the problems the couple had in Britain due to their youth and “lack of money”.

He too described Paizan’s lies to the jury as compounding his grief, saying: “I have had to hear Paizan say Agnes slept with 15 or 20 people a day – these are really hurtful comments. She did not do these things. She was not a prostitute.

“She was my love, my partner and my best friend. He preyed on her vulnerabilities and knew it.”

The court heard in mitigation that Paizan had been attacked in prison three times due to the nature of his crime and was likely to die behind bars.

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