Neculai Paizan murdered Agnes Akom there before moving body
Agnes Akom died in 'horrific attack'. Picture: Met Police
A 64-year-old man who lived in a shipping container in Park Royal has been jailed for the murder of a 20-year-old woman.
Neculai Paizan was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Old Bailey and must serve a minimum of 22 years for killing Agnes Akom.
A painstaking forensics investigation at the site close to Lennox Autos, in which officers and dogs were present for three days, established that Paizan had killed Agnes in a ‘horrific attack’. Such was the weight of evidence that officers were able to charge him before a body was found.
Agnes, who was from Hungary, disappeared from her home on Cricklewood Broadway on Sunday 9 May 2021 and was reported missing two days later.
Using phone data, officers were able to establish that Agnes had got into a motor vehicle on Cricklewood Broadway on the day she disappeared, which was quickly established as belonging to the defendant. This vehicle was then tracked by police to Paizan’s makeshift home inside the large shipping container, Unit 9, on North Acton Road.
The inside of the shipping container where the attack occurred
An extensive review of her phone records, and call data, also established that Agnes’ phone had regularly been in the vicinity of a phone belonging to Paizan over a 12-month period.
On 18 May 2021, officers visited the shipping container to speak with Paizan. Upon arrival, Paizan was not present but several heavy-duty padlocks had been used to secure a door at the end of the container. Police called the Fire Brigade to get the door open, but no one was found inside. However, whilst in attendance Paizan arrived on scene believing that his container was on fire. He admitted knowing Agnes and initially said that he had met with her about two weeks earlier.
Agnes heading into the container
He was taken to Wembley Police Station to give a witness statement, whilst other officers viewed CCTV footage of the industrial estate to corroborate his account. In interview, Paizan said that he had taken Agnes to his container on 9 May, where after a short stay within, he had dropped her to a nearby cashpoint machine, after which time he had not seen or heard from her. However, although the CCTV footage showed Agnes and Paizan arriving when he said they had, she was not shown leaving .
Neculai Paizan in custody
Paizan was arrested on suspicion of murder and false imprisonment and detectives continued to review the CCTV footage and gradually pieced together Paizan’s movements in the days after Agnes had gone missing. He was seen to carry a number of items from the container to his car including what is believed to be the body of Agnes in a wheelie bin before visiting a skip and Neasden Recreation Ground.
Paizan moving a wheelie bin shortly after the murder had taken place
Inside the skip, officers found Agnes’ coat. At the same, a full forensic examination of the container found blood which matched Agnes’ DNA. Other bloodstains were subsequently discovered in Paizan’s car.
At this stage in the investigation, officers had concluded that Agnes had come to serious harm and, despite Paizan’s protestations of innocence, he was charged with murder on 23 May 2021.
However, detectives were yet to find Agnes’ body. Every piece of information suggested that Paizan had taken her to the area surrounding the recreation ground.
Officers with specialist dogs continued with their search, and on 14 June 2021 - some 36 days after she had last been seen - two police dogs gave an indication at a fallen tree. Hidden below a pile of logs and branches, officers found human remains that were later identified as Agnes.
The spot where the body of Agnes was discovered
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, said, “Our thoughts remain with Agnes’ family and friends, who not only have suffered from her loss, but have had to endure hearing the details of her murder during this trial.
“The level of violence Paizan used in his attack on Agnes was truly horrific. What she suffered inside the container does not bear thinking about. Whilst it is not clear why he killed her that day, his attempts to hide his crime in the following hours and days show a calculated effort to ensure that, not only was Agnes never found, but that he would not be caught.
“Our enquiries, which started with phone data, quickly led us to identify Paizan as someone who had regular contact with Agnes. It was his actions that made him a suspect, and the resulting investigation led to him being charged.
“During his testimony at the Old Bailey, Paizan concocted a number of stories in an attempt to paint Agnes in a bad light. Our investigation, and what we know about Agnes, tell us that whilst she was vulnerable, he has clearly lied about her background and personal situation in an attempt to sway the jury.
“It is likely that he preyed upon these vulnerabilities to abuse her, ultimately leading to her murder.”
The post-mortem examination established that Agnes had suffered blunt force trauma to the head, having been struck at least 20 times.
DCI John added: “The work of my team in reviewing hours of CCTV footage, as well as that of our forensic colleagues in examining the crime scene – which Paizan had tried to clean – was vital in establishing what happened to Agnes. This evidence was so strong that we were able to charge him with murder prior to us finding Agnes.”
During the sentencing, HHJ Marks praised the ‘outstanding police team,’ adding, “This is police work of the highest order and we are proud and have a debt of gratitude to the team.”
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July 26, 2022