International Women’s Day: Names and faces of London women killed at the hands of a man over the last year

International Women’s Day: Names and faces of London women killed at the hands of a man over the last year

The death of Sarah Everard in March 2021 sparked a movement focusing on the urgent need to tackle women’s safety across London and beyond. Since then, London has been rocked by the cases of Sabina Nessa, who was mercilessly killed by a stranger while in her local park, and the handling of the case of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman.

Last week was the anniversary of Sarah Everard ’s death, and today is International Women’s Day. As women’s safety at the hands of men is once again pushed into the spotlight, many look back on the women lost to male violence over the last year.

A database called ‘Counting Dead Women’ on WordPress lists all the women killed where the man is either charged or is the prime suspect in the case. In 2021, it reported that 24 London women had been killed by men.

Since then, we’ve seen the deaths of Wafah Yasmin Chkaifi, Naomi Hunte, Susan Ioannou hit national news in 2022. Below are the names and faces of the London women who tragically died at the hands of men over the last year. The list may not be complete. Sadly, some deaths of women at the hands of men never even get recorded.

Sarah Everard

Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered by Wayne Couzens on the evening of March 3

In a murder case that shocked the nation, 33-year-old Sarah Everard was abducted, raped and killed by serving Met police officer Wayne Couzens on March 3.

The marketing executive had been walking home from a friend’s house near Clapham Common, when Couzens falsely arrested her under the pretence of having breached Covid-19 regulations.

He then drove her two hours out of London where he raped her and strangled her, before burning her body and disposing of her remains.

Widespread public appeals were made for information before Couzens was arrested on March 9.

Vigils were held across the country, with a large gathering on Clapham Common causing a controversial response from the police as four arrests were made for breaching Covid lockdowns.

It also sparked a national debate regarding the safety of women and the role of police in British society.

Couzens pleaded guilty to Sarah’s murder and rape, and was handed a whole life order on September 30.

In a statement, her family said: “Sarah lost her life needlessly and cruelly and all the years of life had yet to enjoy were stolen from her. Wayne Couzens held a position of trust as a police officer and we are outraged and sickened that he abused this trust in order to lure Sarah to her death. The world is a safer place with him imprisoned.

“It is almost seven months since Sarah died and the pain of losing her is overwhelming. We miss her all the time. She was a beautiful young woman in looks and character and our lives are the poorer without her.

“We remember all the lovely things about Sarah – her compassion and kindness, her intelligence, her strong social conscience. But we especially like to remember her laughing and dancing and enjoying life. We hold her safe in our hearts.”

Phyllis Nelson

The 76-year-old grandmother was killed in her home in Plaistow, East London on March 25.

She was described as “the most lovely person” by neighbours, who told MyLondon that she was considered the “matriarch” of the neighbourhood.

Police were called to the property at 10:20pm where she was pronounced dead.

Her 30-year-old grandson Donovan Miller, from Newham, has been charged with her murder and will face trial next year.

Constanta Bunea

Constanta Bunea was killed by her husband after an argument over a haircut

Constanta Bunea was killed by her husband after an argument over a haircut

A controlling husband murdered 49-year-old Constanta Bunea at their home in Plumstead after an argument over a haircut on April 4.

Constanta was stabbed in the back with a pair of scissors in the bathroom of the couple’s home.

Her husband initially told shocked paramedics that she had fallen on the scissors, but police officers noticed that the lock on the door had been damaged, indicating she had locked herself in before she was murdered.

He then told officers that the argument had started because Constanta wished to cut her hair in a style he didn’t think would suit her.

Vasile Brauty, 40, was found guilty by a jury at Woolwich Crown Court in October and was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 21 years.

Loretta Herman

Police officers were called to a quiet residential street in Ilford at 10:51am on April 9, where they found Loretta Herman unconscious in the bathtub.

Paramedics battled for an hour to save the 85-year-old’s life but she was pronounced dead at 11:48am.

A post-mortem examination has confirmed her cause of death as compression to the neck.

Her son, 54-year-old Mark Herman, was arrested and charged with her murder, but later committed suicide whilst awaiting trial.

Mayra Zulfiquar

Mayra Zulfiqar

Mayra Zulfiqar from Feltham died in Pakistan

The Feltham law graduate was brutually murdered in Lahore, Pakistan on May 3.

The 26-year-old had recently moved to the country after previously studying at the University of West London.

Legal documents obtained by the BBC and Daily Mail reportedly show that Mayra had recently been threatened by two men who both wanted to marry her.

Her uncle filed a First Incident Report to the police, accusing two men of being behind his niece’s murder.

No arrests have been made in connection with her death.

Maria Rawlings

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The body of Maria Jane Rawlings, 45, was found by a dog walker in Little Health, Romford

Mother-of-two Maria Rawlings was brutally murdered a short while after she left a nearby hospital where she had sought treatment following a fall.

Her naked body was found in shrubbery in Romford by a dog walker on May 4.

She had suffered multiple injuries including compression to the chest and a suspected stab wound.

The previous evening, Maria had gone to A&E at King George Hospital in Goodmayes, Ilford, but left before she was seen. She was reportedly followed off a bus and targeted because she was alone at night.

Valentin Lazar, 21, pleaded guilty to murder at the Old Bailey in November, with the judge telling the court he could expect to receive life imprisonment. The case has been adjourned until January 10, 2022.

Chenise Gregory

On May 4, Chinese was killed by her boyfriend Michael McGibbon, 29, before he then stabbed himself to death in a luxury spa hotel in Harrogate.

The couple had travelled 200 miles from South London to stay in the Hilton Majestic Hotel and Spa in North Yorkshire.

Their bodies were found just after 10:20pm after a commotion was heard coming from the room.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Sygrove of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Investigation Unit said: “A post-mortem has taken place that has confirmed the couple died from stab wounds. We are treating Ms Gregory’s death as murder and we are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident. This is a very sad case and our thought are with their families and friends at this difficult time.”

Agnes Akom

Agnes Akom, 20, known as 'Dora', was last seen in Cricklewood on May 9

Agnes Akom, 20, known as ‘Dora’, was last seen in Cricklewood on May 9

Hungarian national Agnes Akom, known as Dora, was reported missing two days after leaving her home in the Cricklewood Broadway area of Camden on May 9.

The Met Police launched a number of urgent public appeals for information on the 20-year-old’s whereabouts, before human remains were discovered in Neasden Park on June 14 – more than a month later.

An inquest in September failed to establish a medical cause of death, and is pending further analysis as the criminal investigation continues.

Lorry driver Neculai Paizan, 63, has denied her murder and will appear on trial at the Old Bailey in July 2022.

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Svetlana Mihalachi

Emergency services were called to a property on Princes Road in Ilford on April 9 and found Svetlana Mihalachi with serious injuries.

The 53-year-old was taken to hospital where she sadly died five weeks later on May 12.

A 47-year-old man had been arrested shortly after the incident and charged with attempted murder.

Following Svetlana’s death, Nicolae Virtosu was charged with murder and will appear on trial next year.

Unnamed woman

A 32-year-old woman was killed at her home on Kingston Road in Ilford on May 13. She has not yet been identified.

Her death was initially classified as unexplained, but after a post-mortem examination, a murder investigation was launched.

Muhammad Ilyas, 40, has been charged with her murder. It is understood that he was known to the victim.

Peninah Kabeba

Penny was stabbed to death on May 27

Penny was stabbed to death on May 27

Peninah Kabeba, known as Penny, was stabbed multiple times in the chest at her home address of Park Road, Cheam, on May 27.

Police were called to the scene after neighbours reported hearing Penny “screaming” and saw her being attacked.

Police, London Ambulance Service and an air ambulance crew rushed to the scene, where they found the 42-year-old lying on the kitchen floor with multiple stab wounds.

Despite their best efforts, she was pronounced dead at 10:54pm.

Neighbours described her as a “kind, giving, loving” mother whilst a GoFundMe page set up by the family described their “indescribable pain” at her loss.

Mohen Saadi, 56, has been charged with her murder.

Marlene Coleman

Marlene Coleman was found dead in her Lewisham home

Marlene Coleman was found dead in her Lewisham home

The 53-year-old Eurostar worker was found dead in her Lewisham home after suffering a stab wound to the neck.

Emergency service officers found Marlene unresponsive in the kitchen of her home on Cressingham Road shortly before midnight on June 16.

She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Franklin McLeod, 54, of the same address, has been charged with her murder and is awaiting trial next year.

In a tribute posted on a GoFundMe for her family, she was described as “kind, caring, outgoing, extrovert and larger than life”.

Beatrice Stoica

Beatrice was found critically injured at a residential address in Lordship Lane in East Dulwich on July 23.

Police were called shortly after 10pm and found the 36-year-old with stab injuries. Beatrice sadly died in hospital four hours later.

Stony Stoica, 44, has been charged with the murder of his ex-wife and has been remanded in custody. He is due to appear at the Old Bailey next year.

Louise Kam

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Louise Kam was last seen by the Spires Shopping Centre in Barnet on July 26

Two men have been charged with the murder of Louise Kam, a pensioner who was last seen near the Spires Shopping Centre in Barnet on July 26.

After she was reported missing, Detective Chief Inspector Brian Howie said: “Louise’s disappearance is entirely out of character. Her family – in particular her two sons- are extremely worried about her.”

Her black BMW 3 Series convertible was recovered two days later, before her body was found at an address in Harrow on August 1.

Mohamed El Abboud, 26, of Barnet, and Kusai Al-jundi, 23, of Harrow, have both been charged with her murder.

Bella Nicandro

Bella Nicandro was fatally stabbed in her apartment in Notting Hill

Bella Nicandro was fatally stabbed in her apartment in Notting Hill

A neighbour of 76-year-old Bella Nicandro has been charged with her murder, after she was fatally wounded at her apartment in Notting Hill on August 14.

She had been repeatedly stabbed and paramedics were unable to save her life.

Aaron Cook, 23, was subsequently arrested and charged with murder. He resided on the same street and has been accused of racially abusing a police officer later in the afternoon.

He has been remanded in custody and will stand trial in late 2022.

Sharron Pickles

Sharron Pickles was found by emergency services at an address in Ashbridge Street in Westminster on August 19.

Her throat had been cut and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

At 2:15am the following day, a 59-year-old man was found murdered at an address in nearby Jerome Crescent. The police confirmed that both deaths were connected and subsequently arrested 49-year-old Lee Peacock, who was found on a canal barge in Ealing with serious injuries.

His injuries were said to have been self-inflicted and he was subsequently taken into custody and charged with both murders.

Helen Anderson

Helen Anderson, 41, was found dead in Guildford

Helen Anderson, 41, was found dead in Guildford

The body of mother-of-four Helen Anderson was found in undergrowth beside a slip road on the A3 in Guildford on August 23.

Detectives believe that the murder was committed elsewhere and her body then brought to Guildford.

In a statement, the family of the Finsbury Park mum said: “Our dear sister and daughter has gone. We loved you. In this life you faced many challenges and still you had a big heart. Goodbye dear Helen.”

Dane Messam, 52, of Hackney, has been charged with the 41-year-old’s murder.

A second man from Hackney was arrested but has been released on bail.

Sabina Nessa

2 Sabina Nessa death

Sabina Nessa, 28, was killed on September 17 whilst walking through Cator Park

Primary school teacher Sabina Nessa was walking through Cator Park in Kidbrooke on September 18 when she was violently attacked by Koci Selamaj.

The 28-year-old had been travelling to meet a friend at a bar less than ten minutes away from her home.

Her body was discovered in the bushes on September 18 by a dog walker.

An Old Bailey hearing heard that 36-year-old Selamaj had allegedly used a 2ft-long weapon to repeatedly strike her before carrying her away unconscious.

A vigil was attended by more than 500 people at Pegler Square in Kidbrooke Village on September 24, where her sister said: “We have lost an amazing, caring, beautiful sister, who left this world far too early”.

During a plea hearing on December 16, Selamaj admitted responsibility for the killing, with a further hearing scheduled for February at the Old Bailey.

Norma Girolami

A murder enquiry has been launched after Norma Girolami, 70, hasn't been seen since mid-August

A murder enquiry has been launched after Norma Girolami, 70, hasn’t been seen since mid-August

The 70-year-old was reported missing to police on September 20 from Elm Court in Highgate, and is yet to be found.

She had last spoken to her family in July and had stopped answering text messages in August, sparking fears that she had come to harm.

Detectives have launched a murder investigation and on October 5 arrested Serkan Kaygusuz, 41, charging him with her murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn said: “Norma has not been seen by her friends or family since the middle of August. As a result of our investigation we are extremely concerned that Norma may have come to some harm.

“Her home shows no sign of her planning to leave, food was left in her fridge and she said nothing to her friends and relatives. This is completely out of character and as more and more time has passed, this has only added to our fears that some harm has come to her.”

A 34-year-old woman was also arrested in connection with the investigation but has been released on bail.

Nicole Hurley

Nicole was pronounced dead on Sunday October 10

Nicole was pronounced dead on Sunday October 10

Nicole Hurley, a “beautiful” mother-of-four was stabbed to death her own home in Primrose Hill.

Police were called to an address on Broxwood Way after hearing reports of a disturbance, and found the 37-year-old suffering multiple stab wounds.

Despite the best efforts of paramedics, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A manhunt was launched to find Jason Bell, 40, and he was arrested later the same day and charged with murder and false imprisonment in relation to a third party.

Nicole’s brother Ryan posted a touching tribute with a fundraiser for her funeral, writing: “Last night our world was flipped upside down and changed forever, the impossible happened and we lost our beautiful sister to the hands of a monster.

“We will pull together as a family as we always do and ensure that the four most amazing children have the best possible lives.”


A 31-year-old woman, who has been named locally as Fernanda, was brutally stabbed alongside her 61-year-old father at their flat in Wood Green.

Police were called to Mayes Road at 9:30am on November 28 after concerns were raised over the welfare of the occupants.

Both victims had been stabbed “many, many times” and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Achilleas Costa, 52, who had been Fernanda’s partner at the time of the attack, has been charged with their murders.

Neighbours and friends of Fernanda’s described her as “lovely and bubbly” and that was a carer for both her parents who had medical needs.

Kirsty Louise Ashley

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First picture of Boxing Day murder victim Kirsty Louise Ashley

Police were called to a property in Newham on Boxing Day where they found the body of 29-year-old Kirsty Ashley.

A post-mortem examination has determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma.

A family member took to social media to write a heartbreaking tribute, saying that they were all “broken” by her loss.

Vahya Aboukar has been charged with her murder and has been remanded to appear at the Old Bailey next week.

Lesma Jackson

Lesma Jackson, 84, was found dead at home with a ‘number of injuries’

Lesma Jackson, 84, was killed by her son Gareth Jackson, 50, on January 30.

Gareth Jackson was charged with her murder in the early hours of Monday, January 31.

Yasmin Chfaki

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Yasmin Chkaifi was killed by her ‘abusive’ ex-partner

Yasmin Chkaifi died on January 24, 2022 outside her home in West London in a horrific and violent scene.

She had a restraining order already in place against her ex-partner, Leon McCaskre, who it is believed eventually killed her.

Neighbours told MyLondon they used to hear Yasmin being abused in her home when she used to live with her ex-partner.

The mum-of-two was stabbed to death in front of horrified onlookers in Maida Vale by Leon McCaskre, who was then run over by a man trying to help.

Those who knew Yasmin described her as a “good soul” and a “lovely person”.

Naomi Hunte

Naomi Hunte was stabbed to death on Valentine’s Day

Naomi Hunte, 41, was found stabbed to death in a home in Greenwich, South London on February 14 (Valentine’s Day).

A post-mortem examination gave her cause of death as a stab wound.

A 63-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder after her death. He was subsequently bailed pending further enquiries.

Susan Ioannou

Susan Ioannou, 58, was found with injuries at a home in Enfield, North London, and later died from her wounds at the scene.

A 61-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of murder on February 21 and February 22. They were later charged with her murder.

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