Killer of sex worker jailed for life

17/10/2013

A man who brutally stabbed to death a 23-year-old woman in her flat in Foleshill, Coventry has today been sentenced at Warwick Crown Court to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years and four months.

At an earlier hearing, Phillipe Burger, aged 25 had pleaded guilty to the murder of Georgiana Stuparu, whose body was found in her flat on 30 January 2013 by her boyfriend.

Burger's partner, Ramona Budiencea, 22, had pleaded guilty to assisting an offender and she was sentenced to two years and four months imprisonment.

Georgiana Stuparu was a Romanian national and had arrived in the UK in July 2012. Since she was 16 she had been involved in the sex industry in Romania, Italy and more recently in the UK.

The defendants had been in dispute with the victim over money and decided to attend the victim's flat to ask her for financial help. Burger had armed himself with a kitchen knife and Budiencea knew this.

Aware the victim would not be willing to speak to them, Burger phoned the victim purporting to be a client requiring sexual services. He managed to gain entry into the victim's flat whilst Budiencea remained outside.

When the victim realised that her prospective client was Burger there was a confrontation and the victim was stabbed four times, the fatal wound piercing the victim's pulmonary artery.

Burger then phoned Budiencea and let her into the flat and she then then assisted him to clean the scene of the crime. They both then fled the flat and Budiencea returned to the city's Britannia Hotel, where they had been staying, and fetched a change of clothing for Burger to replace his blood stained clothing.

The next day, they went into an electronics exchange store where Budiencea had an account and they sold one of the victim's mobile phones which they had taken with them from the flat.

They then went to Lakeview Park, Coventry where they burnt the blood stained clothes and buried the murder weapon.

Subsequent police enquiries traced the defendants to the Britannia Hotel where they were arrested from their room just over 48 hours after the murder.

Andy Gee, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Georgiana Stuparu knew both the defendants but they had fallen out over a dispute over money.

"The defendants were very short of money and armed with a knife, Phillipe Burger and his partner, Ramona Budiencea visited the victim in order to ask for financial help. Burger tricked his way into the victims flat by pretending to be a client whilst Budiencea waited outside.

"When the victim realised who he was there was an argument over money and he then stabbed her four times. Burger then called Budiencea who assisted him in cleaning the flat of the victims blood and then they left the flat.

"When the victim's boyfriend returned back to the flat, he found her body in the bedroom and he called the emergency services who pronounced Ms Stuparu dead at the scene. 

"After initially lying to the police In their interviews, Burger finally made a full and frank admission to stabbing the victim intending to kill her and Budiencea admitted helping to clean up the flat after the murder, sending false text messages from one of the victim's mobile phones, fetching a change of clothing for Burger from their hotel room, selling one of the victim's phones, disposing of the blood stained clothing and the murder weapon and initially providing Burger with a false alibi.

"Having been served with all of the prosecution evidence, Burger pleaded guilty to murder and Budiencea to assisting an offender and today have received significant custodial sentences which reflect the true gravity of what they did.

"Our thoughts are today with the friends and family of Ms Stuparu."