Agnes Akom was struck at least 20 times over the head with a jigsaw power tool
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A 64-year-old predator who battered a vulnerable young woman to death in a converted shipping container and buried her body in woods has been found guilty of murder. Romanian Necolai Paizan, 64, hit his victim Agnes Dora Akom at least 20 times over the head with a jigsaw power tool during a 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.
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.
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The police investigation led officers to Ms Akom’s last known location, Paizan’s rented container. 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.
Giving evidence, 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. He told jurors she would strip, dance, play games and send him “sexy” pictures and videos but they did not have sex.
On the day of the killing, they had arranged to meet by Facebook Messenger. At 11.49am they went into the container, with the defendant emerging alone with blood on his arm, about 40 minutes later. Paizan claimed he had little memory of events after she “poisoned” him, after she made repeated demands for money.
Recounting his version of events in the container, he told jurors: “All of a sudden I felt like a wave of darkness and I could not walk. I sat down in the first room.” The next thing he remembered was going into the bedroom area, seeing Ms Akom was naked and falling down.
He claimed she tried to force a bottle of liquid into his mouth and he pushed her away before leaving to get some air. He said: “Because I did not know what was happening to me I did not even know my name. It was like a sort of amnesia. I washed my face to help myself to come to because my brain was blurred, I did not know who I was, what my name was, my head was not functioning right.”
Describing the scene when he returned to the container, Paizan said: “There was Agnes curled up in a ball, head down. I got scared and I entered a state of panic. What was going on? What had happened? How did she end up like this? I cannot say what happened.”
Asked why he did not seek medical help, he said: “I think I realised there was no life left in her, the poor little thing, and I was in such a state of panic. I did not know what to do, how to go about things.” Paizan said he did not call the police, fearing they would not believe him. Instead, he told jurors: “I tried to take her to the park, put her in a good place.”
He denied being responsible for Ms Akom’s death. The father-of-four claimed he called her his “princess, little angel and sparrow” and in turn she called him “grandpa”. Paizan claimed Ms Akom had demanded money and took drugs while he only wanted to help set her on the path of a better life. However, there was no evidence that Ms Akom was a drug addict or a sex worker.
Jurors were told Paizan had convictions for benefit fraud, having bladed articles and a traffic offence. Under cross-examination, Jake Hallam QC suggested Paizan’s account was a pack of lies.
Her concerned boyfriend reported her disappearance to the police, and an investigation led them to Paizan, after they undertook an extensive review of her phone records and call data. On May 18, officers arrived at the shipping container to find that it was heavily padlocked and the London Fire Brigade were called to gain entry.
After taking Paizan to Wembley police station to take a witness statement, he said that he had taken Agnes to his container on May 9, and after a short stay, had dropped her off at a nearby cashpoint. However, CCTV footage ominously showed that upon entering the container, Agnes is never shown to leave.
An Old Bailey jury retired to consider its verdicts on Tuesday and found Paizan, of Kensington, west London, guilty of murder after one hour of deliberation. Following the conviction, Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, said: “Our thoughts today are with Agnes’ family and friends, who not only have suffered from her loss, but have had to endure hearing the details of her murder during this trial.
“The level of violence Paizan used in his attack on Agnes is truly horrific. What she suffered inside the container does not bear thinking about. Whilst it is not clear why he killed her that day, his attempts to hide his crime in the following hours and days show a calculated effort to ensure that, not only was Agnes never found, but that he would not be caught.
“Our enquiries, which started with phone data, quickly led us to identify Paizan as someone who had regular contact with Agnes. It was his actions that made him a suspect, and the resulting investigation led to him being charged.
“During his testimony at the Old Bailey, Paizan concocted a number of stories in an attempt to paint Agnes in a bad light. Our investigation, and what we know about Agnes, tell us that whilst she was vulnerable, he has clearly lied about her background and personal situation in an attempt to sway the jury. It is likely that he preyed upon these vulnerabilities to abuse her, ultimately leading to her murder.”
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