A man has been convicted of manslaughter after two people were stabbed at a dinner party in Dagenham.
Vasile Firanda, 60, of Marlborough Road, RM8, appeared at Woolwich Crown Court on Monday, November 23 where he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Viorel Stefan, 49 and grievous bodily harm against a 55-year-old woman.
He is due to be sentenced at the same court on January 8, 2021.
Police were called by London Ambulance Service to reports of a stabbing at a residential property in Marlborough Road, Dagenham, at 10.10pm on December 14, 2019.
Viorel Stefan was found suffering from knife wounds to the back. Despite the efforts of emergency services, he died at the scene at 10.39pm..
A 55-year-old woman was also found suffering from knife wounds. She was treated at the scene before being taken to an east London hospital. Her injuries were not life-threatening.
Vasile Firanda, then aged 59, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder. He was taken to an east London police station and was subsequently charged with the murder of Mr Stefan and GBH against the female victim.
A murder investigation was launched by detectives led by Detective Chief Inspector Laurence Smith, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.
Enquiries quickly established that a dinner party had been held at the address during which the defendant had consumed a significant amount of alcohol.
All of those present were Romanian. However, the victim, and one other, came from a Romanian region where Ukrainian is spoken. During a conversation they lapsed into their native tongue.
The defendant, who is also Romanian, does not speak Ukrainian and became angry that he could not follow the conversation. An argument broke out between the victim and the defendant.
In the midst of this conflict, the female victim attempted to intervene to calm the situation, but enraged, Firanda stabbed her in the back of the hand with such ferocity that the knife travelled through her hand, emerging from the palm.
He then stabbed Mr Stefan twice in the back causing the catastrophic injuries that ended his life.
A blood sample taken from Firanda showed his blood/alcohol level to be three-and-a-half times the legal driving limit.
Detective Chief Inspector Laurence Smith said: “This was a sad and needless loss of life.
“A personal affront, fuelled by alcohol, so quickly became murderously violent.
“It is unlikely that we will ever know the full details of the events that led to the death of Viorel Stefan as the accounts provided by the defendant were changing and conflicting as our investigation progressed.
“What is clear is that the wounds that killed Mr Stefan were undoubtedly inflicted by Vasile Firanda and he will now face many years in prison as a result.”