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Dunkirk caravan park murder trial: Dumitru Palazu found guilty of murder and jailed for life

A double killer was allowed in to Britain only to murder a third victim within weeks.

Romanian Dumitru Palazu has now been jailed for life with a minimum term of 30 years after the brutal stabbing of a fellow countryman on the Brotherhood Caravan Park in Dunkirk.

KMTV reports on the court case

But a jury has this afternoon convicted him of intentionally killing Alexandru Constantinescu.

Palazu previously sacked his legal team mid-way through the trial.

With new defence lawyers in place, the 48-year-old officially pleaded guilty to the manslaughter, holding aloft a piece of paper from the dock which read "I am guilty. Manslaughter.”

But the Crown Prosecution Service did not accept the plea.

Palazu stabbed 30-year-old Mr Constantinescu to death at the caravan site on April 7 this year.

In an incident caught on CCTV, Palazu ran 35 metres towards his victim shouting: “Move aside, I swear on my family’s life, I’m going to cut that one up.”

Alexandru Constantinescu was stabbed through the heart
Alexandru Constantinescu was stabbed through the heart

Prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC told the court that after trading blows, Mr Constantinescu was stabbed under the arm by Palazu as he raised it to throw another punch.

The court heard how the two men were both living on the caravan site, which was populated in-part by Romanians from Calarasi and Craiova.

After he was stabbed, Mr Constantinescu said: “I know the bald one knifed me to death. I know I am dying. My only regret is that my child is to be left an orphan.”

He died at the scene despite the best efforts of paramedics.

Immediately after the incident Palazu left the area, with mobile phone footage filmed by a witness showing him pacing up and down the central reservation of the nearby A2 before he went into hiding.

He handed himself in to officers at Canterbury Police Station the following evening and was remanded in custody, where he has since remained.

The trial had earlier heard how Palazu had killed twice before, with convictions in his native country 10 and 30 years ago.

Dumitru Palazu has been convicted of murder
Dumitru Palazu has been convicted of murder

The jury was told he was convicted of manslaughter in May 1989 in Calarasi, where he had been drinking beer with friends.

It is said he kicked his victim, Anghel Aurelian, in the chin, causing him to lose his balance and fall.

He hit his head on a concrete platform, suffering a traumatic brain injury which led to his death.

Palazu was also convicted in 2009 of causing bodily harm resulting in the death of his father-in-law, Cotac Constantin.

The pair had been drinking in a bar called Sing Sing.

Police at the Brotherhood Wood caravan site
Police at the Brotherhood Wood caravan site

Mr Bennetts QC said: “The defendant’s lover, now his wife Florentina David, then arrived and the three of them left the bar and went to Constantin’s apartment.

“There was an argument and Palazu kicked and punched Mr Constantin in the head multiple times, which caused his death. The defendant was convicted of this offence in 2010.”

Judge Adele Williams told the jury that they should not be prejudiced because of the convictions.

After being released he travelled to England - allegedly to visit his daughter in the West Country - but settled with his partner in Kent after running out of cash.

After jailing him this afternoon she judge Williams said Palazu killed his victim "ruthlessly, brutally and without mercy".

She told him he was an arrogant and manipulative murderer who had grabbed a knife to join in an argument on the controversial Brotherhood Caravan park in Dunkirk.

She said Palazu was dangerous and had killed twice before - and had only been released a month before his latest slaying.

The judge also commended the investigation team including DCI Ivan Beasley; DC Adam Marshall; DC Simon Williams; DC Nick Baxter; PSE Claudia Calin and PC Neil Davies.

She also excused the jury from serving again for life.

DC Simon Williams, the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate’s investigating officer for the case, said: "Palazu was not involved in the disturbance taking place but made a conscious decision to walk towards the men and single out the victim.

"A video recorded by one of the witnesses then shows his left arm making a clear, deliberate and precise movement towards the victim while holding a knife.

"Directing a lethal weapon towards such a vulnerable part of the body clearly shows Palazu’s intention was to murder the victim and I am pleased we have been able to secure justice for his family."

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