Abusive husband stabbed wife to death with scissors after haircut row

·2-min read
Constanta Bunea (MPS)
Constanta Bunea (MPS)

An abusive husband who murdered his wife by plunging a pair of scissors into her back after a row over a haircut has been jailed for life.

Vasile Bratu, 40, was high on drugs when he attacked 49-year-old Constanta Bunea in the bathroom of their flat in Plumstead, southeast London.

When police arrived in the early hours of April 4, Bratu said they had been arguing because his wife wanted to cut her hair and he insisted it would not suit her.

The killer claimed Ms Bunea had been fatally injured by accidentally falling on to the scissors, but Met Police detectives uncovered a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour in the marriage.

Bratu denied murder but was convicted by a jury at Woolwich crown court, and has now been jailed for life with a minimum term of 21 years.

“Constanta Bunea was a loving mother and grandmother who moved to the UK to provide a better life for her family back home in Romania. Vasile Bratu forced her into an unhappy lifestyle”, said Emma Currie, from the CPS.

“He controlled her and used her for the money she made. Tragically, she could never admit to her plight and told her family she was content working in a Romanian bakery in London.

Vasile Bratu (MPS)
Vasile Bratu (MPS)

“The prosecution case included strong testimony from the daughter of Ms Bunea who was able to tell the jury about the jealous, possessive and aggressive behaviour displayed by Bratu when he had visited Romania with her mother. She was also able to speak about the concerning bruises she had seen on her mother in video calls in the weeks before her death – although her mother had been at pains to suggest that Bratu was not responsible.”

The court heard how the couple met online and had been together for around three years, with Ms Bunea moving to the UK from Romania in August 2019 to find work. Bratu, a father-of-three who had worked as a translator in Romania, relied on her income.

When questioned by police, he denied knowing how the fatal wound had been inflicted and attempted to hide behind a language barrier, said the CPS.

“Domestic violence can have a devastating impact”, added Ms Currie.

“The CPS is dedicated to holding perpetrators of domestic abuse to account by bringing these cases to court. I hope this conviction provides some sense of justice for the family and friends of Constanta Bunea. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.”

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