Guilty: Trio who killed Barking man Sandel Serbu with garden shears and pickaxe handles in Ilford
PUBLISHED: 19:13 07 January 2019 | UPDATED: 21:07 07 January 2019
Three men have been convicted of ambushing a Barking man and beating him to death with garden shears and pickaxe handles in an Ilford town centre revenge attack.
Razvan Vladescu, 27, and his brother Araman-Nardi Stoica, 25, both of no fixed address; were found guilty today (January 7) of murdering 36-year-old Sandel Serbu following a seven-week Old Bailey trial.
The third man - Ionut Vasile, 28, of South Park Road, Ilford - was convicted of manslaughter.
Sandel Serbu - originally from the Romanian city of Braila but who lived in Barking after recently moving to the UK – died in hospital at 4.35am on November 12, 2017 from injuries sustained in a brutal attack hours earlier.
A post-mortem examination held at East Ham Mortuary gave the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.
Sandel – known also by the nicknames “Sorin” and “Braileanu” – had been socialising and playing video games at a friend’s house on the evening before the attack.
At about half past midnight, Sandel decided to go to a nightclub in High Road and he got a lift with a couple who were also at the house.
The couple stayed in the car while Sandel got out and spoke to a man outside the nightclub.
Two or three other males then came over and the group had a non-confrontational conversation.
Sandel and the couple then decided to make their way home.
They stopped en route at a shop in High Road to buy cigarettes.
But as Sandel got out of the car, he was approached by a group of men armed with weapons including pickaxe handles and garden shears.
The group had been tailing Sandel, in a convoy of three cars, who then launched a ferocious attack once they deemed him vulnerable.
He was repeatedly hit full-force in the head with their weapons
“I will kill you if you move,” one of the suspects said to Sandel’s friend as he got out of the car in a bid to help him. “Stay out of it.”
Sandel collapsed to the ground while attempting to flee his three attackers.
Paramedics who happened to be driving along High Road activated their siren and blue lights as the suspects fled on foot and in a black 4x4 BMW belonging to Vasile.
The ambulance staff rushed to Sandel’s aid and took him to an east London hospital where he died.
Detectives from the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command analysed CCTV, undertook forensic work, spoke to members of the public and examining items found at the scene, including a phone which belonged to Vladescu.
Pickaxe handles and long-armed garden shears – a pole with a metal spike - were among the weapons officers recovered near the scene.
Inquiries led to the arrest of Vasile – the owner of the black BMW - on November 20, 2017.
Vladescu handed himself in to police on February 23 last year following a media appeal.
Officers arrested Stoica on April 24 as he attempted to hide at an address in Oldham.
The court heard that a possible motivation for the brutal attack was revenge for a fight that took place two months earlier.
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Considine, who led the investigation, said: “Sandel was popping into a shop when he was ambushed by a group of men armed with weapons who brutally beat him to death.
“Sandel was defenceless and had no way to protect himself.
“He managed to momentarily escape but soon fell to the ground and was once again savagely attacked.
“His attackers then left him dying in the street as they casually walked off.
He added: “I would especially like to thank the members of public who came to us with vital information about the incident as well as the two paramedics who bravely intervened by trying to stop the attack and save Sandel’s life.
“Sandel’s family have been left devastated by his death, but I hope today’s conviction gives them a small measure of comfort and closure.”
All three will be sentenced at the same court on February 15.