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Man who murdered his girlfriend in their East Ham home is jailed for life

PUBLISHED: 10:53 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 22 February 2017

Alin Gabriel Apopei, 27, of Eversleigh Road, East Ham, was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, February 21. Picture: Metropolitan Police.

Alin Gabriel Apopei, 27, of Eversleigh Road, East Ham, was found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, February 21. Picture: Metropolitan Police.

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An “enraged and jealous” man who murdered his girlfriend in an attack that was recorded on her mobile phone has been jailed for life today.

Denisa Silmen was killed by Alin Gabriel Apopei in a vicious attack.Denisa Silmen was killed by Alin Gabriel Apopei in a vicious attack.

Alin Gabriel Apopei, 27, killed 25-year-old Denisa Silmen at the home the couple shared in Eversleigh Road, East Ham, on July 30, 2015.

She had suffered more than 62 different injuries which had led to her disfigurement, most probably after her death.

Sentencing Apopei at the Old Bailey a day after he was found guilty of murder, Judge Gerald Gordon QC said: “The attack that killed her was ferocious and sustained including blunt instruments including an iron, manual strangulation and very many stab and slash wounds.”

Judge Gordon also told how the likely motive for the killing was Miss Silmen’s intention to leave him.

Police at the scene in Eversleigh Road.Police at the scene in Eversleigh Road.

He said: “On the bed that you had shared was her suitcase, at least partially packed.

“You couldn’t face the fact that she was finally leaving you.”

He added: “It can properly be described as the slaughter of an innocent woman.”

Apopei, who had a history of violence towards Miss Silmen, appeared close to tears as he was told that he must serve a minimum of 20 years before being considered for release.

During the trial, jurors heard her mobile phone was activated, either accidentally or deliberately, and recorded the sounds of the couple apparently having sex before a man is heard to say: “I’m going to kill you now. Shall I give you the first one?” then a slapping noise.

Her final words, also recorded, were: “You finished me off,” the court heard.

Afterwards, Apopei changed his clothes and disposed of the knife he used to kill Miss Silmen as well as her mobile phone. They have never been recovered.

Following his arrest, Apopei behaved “erratically”, often laughing hysterically then becoming aggressive, the court heard, and that psychiatrists had differing opinions on whether Apopei was mentally ill.

In a statement, the victim’s mother, Monica Silmen, said her daughter had come to Britain from Romania for a “better life”.

She added: “The light in my eyes died when she died.”


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