UK

Romanian man admits murdering grandmother as she house-sat over Christmas

Cristian Sabou has been jailed for murdering Valerie Graves (Picture: Eddie Mitchell)
Cristian Sabou has been jailed for murdering Valerie Graves (Picture: Eddie Mitchell)

A Romanian man has been jailed for all times after pleading responsible to the 2013 homicide of grandmother Valerie Graves.

The killing of the 55-year-old artist round Christmas time shocked the small village of Bosham in West Sussex.

She was discovered bludgeoned to demise within the ground-floor bed room of a luxurious £1.6 million property the place she was house-sitting.

Cristian Sabou, 27, beforehand of Dej, Romania, pleaded responsible to her homicide when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court at the moment. He will serve a minimal of 23 years.

Ms Graves had simply moved down from Scotland to be nearer to her household, with whom she spent Christmas earlier than she was discovered useless on December 30.

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a woman who was bludgeoned to death in bed six years ago. Valerie Graves, 55, was found dead at a property in Smugglers Lane, Bosham, West Sussex, in December 2013. Cristian Sabou, 27, was arrested at his home in Dej, north-west Romania, last week, and was extradited on Friday. He was remanded in custody after a hearing at Brighton Magistrates' Court. Ms Graves, an artist, was house-sitting for friends at the seaside property when she was killed. A post-mortem examination found she had severe head injuries.
Sabou, 27, was extradited from Romania (Picture: Eddie Mitchell)
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated family handout file photo issued by Sussex Police of artist Valerie Graves. Cristian Sabou is due in court over the murder of the grandmother, who was bludgeoned to death as she house-sat for friends. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday July 20, 2019. Sabou, 28, was held on a European Arrest Warrant last week at his home in Dej, in the north-west of his native Romania. See PA story COURTS Village. Photo credit should read: Family Handout/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Ms Graves was a 55-year-old grandmother (Picture: PA)

Prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC instructed the court docket that Sabou had entered the home as a would-be burglar, anticipating it to be empty.

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He had labored odd jobs for the householders in the last few months.

The court docket heard that he had been knowledgeable {that a} protected in the home contained a considerable amount of money and ingots.

When he entered the house he discovered Ms Graves, and attacked her with a hammer, inflicting horrific accidents to her head as she tried to defend herself.

Mr Bennetts stated: ‘There had been in depth accidents to her head.

A man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a woman who was bludgeoned to death in bed six years ago. Valerie Graves, 55, was found dead at a property in Smugglers Lane, Bosham, West Sussex, in December 2013. Cristian Sabou, 27, was arrested at his home in Dej, north-west Romania, last week, and was extradited on Friday. He was remanded in custody after a hearing at Brighton Magistrates' Court. Ms Graves, an artist, was house-sitting for friends at the seaside property when she was killed. A post-mortem examination found she had severe head injuries.
He beat her over the top with a hammer (Picture: Eddie Mitchell)
CAPTION CORRECTS SURNAME TO SABOU Cristian Sabou is escorted by an officer after a hearing to confirm his European Arrest Warrant in connection with the murder of a woman who was found bludgeoned to death in 2013 in Bosham, England, at the Cluj Court of Appeals in Cluj, Romania, Thursday, July, 11, 2019. A Romanian man is to be extradited from his home country to Britain, where he is a suspect in a 2013 murder case. (AP Photo/Mircea Rosca)
Sabou pleaded responsible to the homicide (Picture: AP)

‘The level of force used was extreme. Not dissimilar from the forces experienced during road traffic collisions.’

The killing sparked one of many longest homicide hunts in Sussex Police historical past, however it was not till July 2019 that Sabou was arrested in Romania, earlier than being charged and extradited to the .

Following Ms Graves’ homicide, her son, Tim Wood, stated: ‘She was a free spirit who loved her life and was a proficient artist.

‘She had lived in Scotland for about 10 years, a spot she liked and which impressed her ardour for artwork.

‘This has been devastating for the family and has come as a complete shock.’

Her household, who had feared they might by no means discover out the reality about her homicide, described Ms Graves as ‘an eternal student who was always hungry for a new challenge’.

CAPTION CORRECTS SURNAME TO SABOU Cristian Sabou sits in a courtroom prior to a hearing to confirm his European Arrest Warrant in connection with the murder of a woman who was found bludgeoned to death in 2013 in Bosham, England, at the Cluj Court of Appeals in Cluj, Romania, Thursday, July, 11, 2019. A Romanian man is to be extradited from his home country to Britain, where he is a suspect in a 2013 murder case. (AP Photo/Mircea Rosca)
Cristian Sabou in a courtroom in Cluj, Romania in July (Picture: AP)

In a press release, they added: ‘This has been a devastating expertise for the entire household and at the moment we really feel that justice has lastly been served.

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‘We have needed to endure six years of ready, not understanding if anybody would ever be delivered to justice for this cowardly act.

‘Val, our mum, was very a lot liked by our household and is sorely missed by all of us. She was a sort and caring person who had little battle in her life; her homicide was incomprehensible to us all.

‘We discover it laborious to grasp why he selected to take her life within the method during which he did. You took away our mum, who was additionally a sister, daughter, gran and pal to many – a lifetime of somebody who can by no means get replaced.

‘We hope that, while he is serving his sentence, he will reflect on the actions he took and what this has done to our family.’

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