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Two jailed over Ilford fire death

|News, Violent crime

Two men who burned down a makeshift hut as its occupants lay sleeping inside, have been jailed after one victim died and another was left with serious burns.

Killers Ionel-Octavian Stanciu, 39, and Petre Deliu, 54, poured petrol over the wooded hut in Ilford before setting it alight following a disagreement about who could live in the hut.

Stanciu had purchased a four-litre jerry can and filled it with petrol from a Shell station before he and Deliu headed out to the hut on the night of 18 June 2019.

The blaze engulfed the hut burning it to the ground and could be seen from as far as the North Circular Road, where witnesses flagged down police who rushed to the scene.

Although 38-year-old victim Ionut Manea made it out of the burning hut, he had suffered 95 per cent burns all over his body and died in hospital the next day. Another man, aged 39, managed to escape from the fire but suffered 45 per cent burns all over his body.

Today (Friday, 9 July 2021) Stanciu was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 31 years after being convicted of murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent following a trial at the Old Bailey. Deliu was found guilty of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm in the same trial. He was sentenced to 12 years and six months in custody.

Louise Attrill, from the CPS, said: “This was a sickening, targeted attack on two sleeping men inside the comfort of their own home. Stanciu appeared to hold some kind of vicious grudge that led him to him recruiting Deliu, before purchasing petrol and making the determined 40-minute walk to the hut from the petrol station.

“As a result of these appalling actions, one man has lost his life and another has been left with life-changing burns, which will act as a constant reminder of that horrific night for the rest of his life.

“Stanciu and Deliu acted together and they acted deliberately to cause serious harm. They initially told police at the scene that the two injured men were their friends, and that they had been invited to a barbecue before witnessing the explosion. The prosecution case included CCTV footage, forensic fire analysis and strong witness testimony from the brave surviving victim who flew over from Romania to give evidence in person.

“I hope this conviction gives the surviving victim and the family and friends of Ionut Manea some comfort in the knowledge that these men will now be jailed for a long time and will no longer pose a threat.”

Notes to editors

  • Louise Attrill is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the pan-London Homicide unit in CPS London North
  • Ionel-Octavian Stanciu (DOB: 18/04/1982) is from Westminster
  • Petre Deliu (17/02/1967) is from Canning Town in the London borough of Newham. 

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