Iuliana Tudos murder: Sadistic predator Kasim Lewis jailed for life over Finsbury Park barmaid killing

Iuliana Tudos.

Iuliana Tudos. - Credit: Archant

A “sadistic” predator has been jailed for life for killing barmaid Iuliana Tudos in Finsbury Park as she made her way home at Christmas.

A court artist sketch of Kasim Lewis, from his January court appearance. Picture Elizabeth Cook/PA W

A court artist sketch of Kasim Lewis, from his January court appearance. Picture Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Kasim Lewis, 31, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to murdering 22-year-old Iuliana Tudos and will spend at least 29 years behind bars.

Iuliana, known as Julie, who worked at the World’s End pub in Camden, was accosted in the park as she walked home on Christmas Eve.

Her naked body was found in a derelict hut in the park near her home three days later by a friend who was retracing her steps home to Upper Tollington Park. Lewis appeared to have carved a Batman logo in her chest with a broken bottle, and slashed her neck, abdomen and wrists.

Members of Iuliana’s family attended the hearing. Sentencing Lewis, Judge Richard Marks said the attack was done with the “utmost callousness and barbarity” and was “wicked beyond belief”.

Kasim Lewis

Kasim Lewis - Credit: met

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett had earlier said convicted sex offender Lewis – fuelled by cocaine, cannabis and alcohol – carried out a sustained and brutal attack.

He said: “Iuliana was struck over the head most likely with a bottle, she was also stabbed with a broken bottle in the neck, on her abdomen and on her wrists with a broken bottle.

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“Although there is no evidence that Iuliana was actually sexually assaulted, the prosecution allege that this was a sexually motivated and sadistic attack.”

During the attack, Lewis extracted her PIN and later withdrew cash from her account.

Lewis, who was born in Montserrat and lived in Friern Barnet, had previously been jailed for a sex attack. In September 2005, he was handed two years for sexual assault and exposure on a bus and placed on the sex offenders register.

In 2011, he received a further eight months in jail for failing to comply with the sex offender notification requirements and a community order.

The court heard Iuliana was born in Moldova and worked in the World’s End pub in Camden High Street.

Mr Aylett said she was “well-known and much liked” and was described as a selfless and helpful person.

She had finished her shift at the pub and was planning to spend Christmas with friends after going home to collect her things.

She was picked up on CCTV at 8.33pm heading towards the entrance of Finsbury Park.

When she failed to turn up, her friends posted messages on social media, contacted the pub, hospitals and distributed fliers.

A group of friends searched Finsbury Park and found the body in a burnt out shed, the court heard.

Paramedics described a wound to her chest as looking like the logo for Batman or the letter M. She had been bound with cable ties.

Speaking after the sentencing Iuliana’s stepfather Costa Vasilou, who had travelled from Cyprus to attend court, paid an emotional tribute to her.

He said: “She was murdered in the most repelling and inhuman way, a disgrace to the human race. As parents we have lost our beloved daughter.

“This youngster was full of energy. She was loved and treasured by all her family and relatives.

“She studied hard and worked hard. She was a shining example to many other young people.

“As parents our dream was for Iuliana to come back to Cyprus.

“She was murdered. All her dreams have been lost. This gives us great sadness.”

In a victim impact statement, Iuliana’s friend Agnieszka Jackman said: “She was a friend to so many and a part of so many people’s lives. She had an eternal love for music.

“We knew something was wrong. She would never cancel plans without letting someone know, especially on Christmas Eve.

“Here, we are the only family in the UK she had. A piece of our lives died with Julie that night. Every single one of our lives has changed for the worse.

“I worry about being out on my own at night. The pain I feel makes me feel self-destructive, I want to know why. Why did he do this to my beautiful friend?

“It’s unimaginable what she went through that night. The fear and the idea that she was scared and felt pain, it haunts us all.

“We just hope she didn’t suffer. He has taken one life and destroyed many others.”

“I wish I could turn back the clock.

“Dear Julie, we love you very much and we will never forget who you were.”

Court reporting by Press Association