Predator jailed for ‘wicked’ murder of barmaid
Kasim Lewis, 31, hit 22-year-old Iuliana Tudos over the head with a bottle, tied her up and slashed her with glass.
A “wicked” predator who attacked a popular barmaid in a park on Christmas Eve and carved a Batman logo on her chest has been locked up for at least 29 years.
Fuelled by drugs and alcohol, Kasim Lewis, 31, hit 22-year-old Iuliana Tudos over the head with a bottle, tied her up and slashed her with glass.
Her naked body was found in a burned out hut in Finsbury Park on December 27 last year, three days after she disappeared as she returned home from The World’s End pub in Camden.
Convicted sex offender Lewis pleaded guilty to murder at the Old Bailey via video link from Belmarsh jail.
Judge Richard Marks QC jailed him for life with a minimum term of 29 years.
He told Lewis: “This slightly built young woman was alone in a park at night and was as such vulnerable in the extreme.
“She must have died a terrible death. What you did to her was wicked beyond belief.”
Outlining the facts, prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said the popular Moldovan-born barmaid had been set upon by Lewis as she made her way home from her shift at the World’s End pub.
She was last picked up on CCTV at 8.33pm on Christmas Eve heading towards the entrance of Finsbury Park, where Lewis pounced.
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.
“Although there is no evidence that Iuliana was actually sexually assaulted, the prosecution allege that this was a sexually motivated and sadistic attack.”
Lewis extracted her PIN and later withdrew cash from her account as she lay dead.
When she failed to turn up at her friends’ house to celebrate Christmas, they posted messages on social media and distributed flyers to find her.
A group of friends searched Finsbury Park and found the body in a burnt-out hut by an old cricket pavilion.
Paramedics described a wound to her chest as looking like the logo for Batman or the letter M.
The next day, the defendant tried to lay a “false trail” by texting a contact to ask about the discovery of a woman’s body.
Police went to Lewis’s home on New Year’s Eve and found cable ties like those used on the victim and a knife in the fridge.
They tracked down the bisexual defendant at his on-off boyfriend’s Dalston flat.
When he was arrested, HIV positive Lewis told them: “I did it”, the court heard.
A search of his phone revealed a trailer for a pornographic film featuring a young woman being chased into an alleyway and then bound with cable ties.
Lewis, who was born in Monserrat and lived in north London, had previously been jailed for an earlier 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, but failed to comply with restrictions.
The victim’s stepfather Costa Vasiliou travelled from his home in Cyrpus and paid an emotional tribute to the 22-year-old at the Old Bailey.
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.”
Mitigating, Jeremy Dein QC said Lewis’s actions were “irrational beyond comprehension”.
He argued there was no evidence of a sexual assault, even though Ms Tudos was found naked.
And injuries indicating a sadistic element were inflicted after she was knocked unconscious, he said.
Judge Marks said he did not sentence on the basis it could be proved to be a sadistic killing.
He said: “This is a killing that demonstrated the most appalling brutality. It was horrendous and barbaric.
“Whether sadistic is open to argument but the degree of violence in it is a significantly aggravating factor.
Scotland Yard’s Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall said: “Iuliana was killed as she walked through Finsbury Park on her way to spend Christmas with her friends. Tragically her journey brought her in to contact with Kasim Lewis who took her life in a shockingly violent manner.
“I have no doubt that women in London are safer for the fact that Lewis is behind bars. My thoughts are today with Iuliana’s family and her loyal friends who searched for her over Christmas last year.”