Introduction: Man Jailed for Murdering Sister-in-law
Nicolae Virtosu, aged 49 and residing in Ilford, East London, has been sentenced to a minimum of 28 years in prison for the murder of his sister-in-law, Svetlana Mihalachi.
The sentencing took place at the Old Bailey on Monday, following Virtosu’s conviction for murder and making threats to kill in July.
The Victim and Her Relationship with the Perpetrator
During the trial, it was revealed that Nicolae Virtosu was Svetlana Mihalachi’s brother-in-law. They all lived together in the same household in Ilford, including Ms.
Mihalachi’s husband and her 12-year-old son.
The relationship between 53-year-old Svetlana and Virtosu was marked by frequent arguments related to household chores, noise, and financial matters.
Tensions Escalate and a Desperate Plea
As tensions escalated, Svetlana Mihalachi made it clear that she wanted Nicolae Virtosu to move out of their shared home.
However, Virtosu refused to comply with her request. The situation became increasingly alarming, with Virtosu making threats against Ms. Mihalachi’s life.
In desperation, she reported Virtosu, who was in the UK illegally, to the Home Office. She also reached out to the police, requesting Virtosu’s removal from the house.
However, she was fearful of Virtosu and the potential consequences of making a formal statement. Instead, officers assured her that they would inform immigration services about Virtosu’s status.
Tragic Events Leading to the Murder
On April 9, 2021, the London Ambulance Service received reports of a woman being assaulted at the residence on Princes Road.
Upon arrival, Ms. Mihalachi was discovered with hatchet wounds to her head. Despite efforts by emergency services, she tragically succumbed to her injuries on May 12. A post-mortem examination confirmed that her cause of death was multi-organ failure resulting from head injuries and severe blood loss.
Arrest of the Defendant
During the critical moments when emergency services were attempting to save Ms. Mihalachi’s life, Nicolae Virtosu returned to the scene and was subsequently arrested on suspicion of murder.
Detective’s Remarks on the Case
Detective Constable Rosamund Ellis, representing the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, emphasized the persistent threat of violence that Svetlana Mihalachi endured in the months leading to her tragic death.
Despite Virtosu’s attempt to attribute his actions to a mental health disorder, it was clear that his actions stemmed from anger and violence.
The detective expressed condolences to the victim’s family, recognizing the profound loss they have experienced.