Man jailed for attempted murder of pregnant ex-girlfriend in south Wales

<span>Daniel Mihai Popescu told Andreea Pintili: ‘I have a knife and I am going to kill you.’</span><span>Photograph: South Wales police</span>
Daniel Mihai Popescu told Andreea Pintili: ‘I have a knife and I am going to kill you.’Photograph: South Wales police

A man who stabbed his pregnant ex-girlfriend weeks before she was due to give birth to their baby has been jailed for 17 years and four months for attempted murder.

Daniel Mihai Popescu, 29, grabbed Andreea Pintili as she left home in Aberfan, south Wales, and told her: “I have a knife and I am going to kill you.”

He stabbed her with a 20cm (8in) knife multiple times. In her victim impact statement Pintili, who was 37 weeks pregnant, said: “His intention that day was to kill me and my unborn child.”

She said: “I feel lucky to be alive after this harrowing experience. He told me he had a knife and to get into the house. I have no doubt if I went into the house he would have killed me.”

Schools were locked down while armed police searched for Popescu after the attack on 5 December last year.

John Hipkin KC, prosecuting, said Popescu and Pintili began a relationship in 2020 but he developed a gambling habit and the couple separated around August 2023.

Merthyr Tydfil crown court heard he began to stalk her by calling her from withheld numbers, filming her and uploading the footage to TikTok, and sitting outside her home.

After Pintili moved to Aberfan, Popescu left two bags of his clothing outside her home and left her a voicemail, saying: “Don’t touch my clothes, I’m not going from the street until you get back together with me.”

Popescu was arrested and released on bail under the condition he not contact Pintili. Hipkin told the court Popescu continued to stalk her and sent a message to his sister suggesting he would kill Pintili.

CCTV footage played to the court showed Pintili walking along the street near her home before Popescu emerged from a hiding place behind a parked car and attacked her.

A woman saw the attack, screamed and ran to try to help, which caused Popescu, a factory and car wash worker, to flee. Pintili sustained wounds to her back and hand and was taken to hospital but she and her unborn child were not seriously hurt.

Pintili said she was happy Popescu pleaded guilty to attempted murder but would never feel safe. “I feel very scared and anxious of the thought of him being released. He did not abide to any bail condition set, and I feel he’ll also ignore any restraining orders placed upon him.”

David Aubrey KC, defending, said that after they separated, Popescu was told that when the child was born he would have no contact with it or be named as the father on the birth certificate.

The recorder of Cardiff, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke, told Popescu he appeared to feel very little remorse and posed a high risk of causing serious harm to Pintili and future partners.

Police released footage of the attack and the arrest. DI James Morris called it a “senseless and sustained act of violence”. He praised the “strength and bravery of the victim” and the courage of the woman who ran to help her.