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Dumitru Palazu on trial for murder of Alexandru Constantinescu in Dunkirk

A man accused of stabbing a dad to death during a clash at a caravan park has twice been convicted of killing people in separate incidents, a jury has been told.

Dumitru Palazu, 48, has gone on trial charged with the murder of Alexandru Constantinescu at the Brotherhood Wood site in Dunkirk.

Dumitru Palazu is accused of murder
Dumitru Palazu is accused of murder

As Maidstone Crown Court heard details of the allegations against Palazu, jurors were told he has twice killed before - 10 and 30 years ago in his native Romania.

They had earlier heard the prosecution case against Palazu, who is alleged to have stabbed 30-year-old Mr Constantinescu through the heart on April 7 last year.

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

Prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC claimed 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.

Mr Constantinescu lived in caravan 10 and Palazu - who denies murder - was in caravan 41 with his wife Florentina.

Police at the Esso Garage, near the Brotherhood Wood caravan site on the A2 in Dunkirk
Police at the Esso Garage, near the Brotherhood Wood caravan site on the A2 in Dunkirk

Mr Bennetts told the jury: “In the afternoon of April 7 Constantinescu became upset.

“He had been drinking, as had many others, and it is unclear why an argument developed that day.”

One suggestion is that a dispute had arisen between two people from Calarasi when the victim became involved.

Mr Bennetts added: “Other accounts suggest that Mr Constantinescu believed someone called Marian Neata had made advances to his partner.”

The jury heard how Mr Constantinescu went to an area within the park where people from Calarasi lived and an argument began.

“Although not armed, he was aggressive and insulted people from Calarasi and a fight developed,” Mr Bennetts said.

Alexandru Constantinescu died after suffering knife wounds
Alexandru Constantinescu died after suffering knife wounds

“That fight was not with Dumitri Palazu, but [Palazu] chose to involve himself, and chose to carry a knife, and he chose to use that knife.”

The court heard how at about 5.30pm the alleged victim and a group of people were standing next to caravan 10.

Mr Constaninescu was later heard shouting “All of you from Calarasi should leave here because I will kill all of you. You should all disappear.”

As he walked away Palazu is alleged to have charged towards him.

Mr Bennetts claimed an eyewitness told how Palazu stabbed Mr Constaninescu in the ribs, with one of two wounds piercing his heart.

The prosecutor said the attack was caught on CCTV.

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

He claimed that Palazu stabbed the victim “not in self-defence”, adding it was “not an accident but an intentional stabbing”.

Mr Constantinescu died despite what was described by a coroner as “extensive medical aid by the emergency services”.

As the prosecution’s account of events concluded, the jury was told Palazu was convicted of manslaughter in May 1989 in Calarasi, where he had 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 hisfather-in-law, Cotac Constantin.

KMTV reporting earlier from the crime scene

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

Mr Bennetts QCsaid: “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.

The prosecution say it shows Palazu has a tendency to use unlawful violence.

The trial, which started today, continues.

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