Man jailed for 17 years after stabbing his pregnant ex five times

-Credit: (Image: South Wales Police)
-Credit: (Image: South Wales Police)


A man who tried to murder the mother of his unborn child will serve up to 17 years and four months in jail. Daniel Popescu armed himself with a large knife and stabbed the woman at least five times before a passer-by's screams caused him to flee.

Armed police attended the scene at Coronation Place in Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil, following the stabbing at around 9.10am on December 5 last year. Nearby schools and community centres were locked down for hours as police launched a manhunt, which resulted in the arrest of Popescu, a 29-year-old of no fixed address. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder and stalking.

Recorder of Cardiff, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke, told Popescu during his sentencing at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court: "You were in a relationship for about three years and she ended it in August 2023. You refused to accept her decision. You followed her places, left messages, and repeatedly telephoned her while withholding your number. You were arrested and released on bail, and she moved to Aberfan to avoid you, but you found her and pleaded with her to get back together with you."

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The court heard Popescu was enraged because he believed his ex had got back together with her former partner. In a message to his sister he wrote "w****s must die" and he told another person he was going to stab the woman's partner. Judge Lloyd-Clarke said: "On December 5, 2023, you travelled to Aberfan, where she was living, you armed yourself with a large knife, and you concealed yourself behind a parked car near her home address and waited for her. As she returned home, having taken her children to school, she heard footsteps behind her and you grabbed her by the arm of her jacket.

"You told her to go in the house. You said you had a knife and you would kill her if she did not do as you said, and you then produced the knife. [She] turned and tried to run away but she fell to the floor. While she was on the floor you stabbed her a number of times. She held her stomach to try to protect her unborn child. She was 37 weeks pregnant with your child. A lady passing by saw what was happening, and screamed and tried to help. You ran away."

The victim suffered three superficial wounds to her hand, and two penetrating wounds to her back, as well as a superficial wound to her back. She received deep sutures and morphine while in hospital before being discharged the following day. Her unborn child was not harmed.

Popescu had no previous convictions. Judge Lloyd-Clarke took into account the planned nature of the attack and that "although [the woman's] injuries were not of the most serious kind, that was entirely fortuitous". The judge added that Popescu only stopped because of the passer-by's intervention. And she said it was clear from the probation service's pre-sentence report that he felt "very little remorse" and that he posed a "very high risk" to both the victim and any future partners.

Judge Lloyd-Clarke imposed an extended sentence with a custodial period of up to 17 years and four months, followed by a three year extended licence period. Popescu must serve two thirds of the custodial term before a parole board can consider whether he can be safely released. An indefinite restraining order was imposed.

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