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Husband who murdered wife with scissors jailed for life

|News, Violent crime

An abusive husband who plunged a pair of scissors into his wife’s back has been convicted of murder and given a life sentence.

While high on drugs Vasile Bratu, 40, murdered his 49-year-old wife Constanta Bunea inside the bathroom of a flat in Plumstead in the early hours of 4 April 2021. 

Today (21 October) Bratu was convicted of one count of murder following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court. He will serve a minimum of 21 years.

The couple had been together for around three years originally being introduced online just before Ms Bunea moved to the UK from Romania to find work in August 2019. Father-of-three Bratu had been financially dependent on her income. 

Bratu called 999 after the attack. When paramedics arrived and saw the victim surrounded by blood with a wound to her back, Bratu told them that his wife had fallen on a pair of scissors. Police officers who attended noted that the lock to the bathroom had been damaged, suggesting that Ms Bunea had locked herself inside before she was murdered. Bratu told the officers that they had argued because she had wanted to cut her hair and he had told her that it would not suit her. He was arrested at the scene. 

In later police interviews Bratu said that he did not know how the 10cm-deep fatal scissor injury had happened and sought to hide behind a language barrier. However, he told the jury during evidence that he had worked as a translator within the Romanian community since arriving in the UK. 

Emma Currie, from the CPS, said: “Constanta Bunea was a loving mother and grandmother who moved to the UK to provide a better life for her family back home in Romania. Vasile Bratu forced her into an unhappy lifestyle. 

“He controlled her and used her for the money she made. Tragically, she could never admit to her plight and told her family she was content working in a Romanian bakery in London. 

“The prosecution case included strong testimony from the daughter of Ms Bunea who was able to tell the jury about the jealous, possessive and aggressive behaviour displayed by Bratu when he had visited Romania with her mother. She was also able to speak about the concerning bruises she had seen on her mother in video calls in the weeks before her death – although her mother had been at pains to suggest that Bratu was not responsible. 

“A pathologist told jurors about the level of force likely to be used in order to kill with a pair of scissors. 

“Domestic violence can have a devastating impact. The CPS is dedicated to holding perpetrators of domestic abuse to account by bringing these cases to court. I hope this conviction provides some sense of justice for the family and friends of Constanta Bunea. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.”

Notes to editors

  • Vasile Bratu (DOB: 14.08.1981) is from Kent. 
  • Emma Currie is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the pan-London Homicide unit in CPS London North.

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