Predator who murdered woman in container loses conviction and sentence appeal

A predator who battered a young woman to death in a converted shipping container using a power tool has failed in his legal bid to appeal his conviction and sentence.

Romanian Neculai Paizan, 66, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 22 years in July 2022 after being found guilty of murdering Agnes Dora Akom, 20, in Brent, north-west London.

Paizan hit the petite Hungarian woman at least 20 times over the head with a jigsaw power tool during the assault on May 9 2021, a trial at the Old Bailey previously heard.

Agnes Akom
Agnes Dora Akom was murdered by Neculai Paizan in May 2021 (Metropolitan Police/PA)

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal refused Paizan’s application to appeal against both his verdict and sentence.

Paizan had made a number of complaints about his trial, including that one of the jurors smelled of cannabis and that Ms Akom had previous convictions.

He said the sentence was excessive, and that Judge Richard Marks KC had failed to consider his age and health problems.

Neculai Paizan entering the shipping container
Neculai Paizan battered Ms Akom to death in a shipping container in Brent, north-west London (Metropolitan Police/PA)

They said his defence counsel were happy to proceed with the trial after the smell of cannabis was raised, adding that the verdict was not impacted.

The judges also dismissed his false claims about him needing a Romanian interpreter, and that only one juror was present when verdicts were read.

They refused the application to appeal.

Initially, Paizan told police he had killed Ms Akom in “self-defence” but went on to give a different story in his evidence to jurors during his trial.

The Royal Courts of Justice in London
The Court of Appeal refused Paizan’s application to appeal against both his verdict and sentence (Andrew Matthews/PA)

He described how he came to love her “like a daughter” after finding her begging for small change in a supermarket car park.

But the evidence suggested that he had preyed on her vulnerability and targeted her with the promise of money.

They met 54 times over the 12 months before the murder, and jurors were shown photographs Paizan took of Ms Akom semi-naked, the court heard.

Following the verdict, Ms Akom’s family accused him of “dragging her through the mud” in death as a result of his lies about her, in which he falsely claimed she was a sex worker.

On Paizan’s possible motive, Judge Marks had suggested he launched into the violent assault after she told him: “Don’t touch me.”

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