East Ham man appeals against life sentence for gang murder

An East Ham man serving a life sentence for the brutal death of a young Romanian during a suspected gangland turf war has lost his appeal.

Eugen Breahna was brutally clubbed to death as he sheltered from a gang of attackers in the back of an ambulance in Bounds Green.

Gabriel Alecu, 37, of Barking Road, has always denied being part of the gang who murdered the 22-year-old in January 2005.

Last week, delivering judgment on his appeal, Lord Justice Pitchford upheld Alecu’s December 2005 conviction for his part in the shocking killing.

Originally ordered to serve at least 21 years of a life sentence before applying for release, the decision means Alecu will be behind bars until at least 2026.

The judge, who heard the appeal in April with Mr Justice Wyn Williams and Mr Justice Supperstone, rejected evidence which was said to back Alecu’s appeal.

Prosecutors said Alecu was part of a gang which set upon another smaller gang in Bounds Green on the evening of January 18, 2005.

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After a chase, Mr Breahna tried to take shelter in the back of an ambulance but was battered to death by members of the group.

During the appeal hearing last month, evidence was given via a video link by two witnesses in Romania who said Alecu had left the scene before the fatal attack.

But Lord Justice Pitchford said that the evidence was “not credible” and, even if it had been, it would not have affected the safety of the conviction.