“Obsessed” neighbour jailed for life for murder of much-loved Thornton Heath teacher he had secretly filmed in shower

A man has been sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 20 years, after pleading guilty to the murder of a teacher he had secretly filmed in her shower.

Lucian Stinci, 34, of Alpha Road, Croydon, pleaded guilty on Friday [march 2]to murder, actual bodily harm, unlawful wounding and possession of a controlled drug.

He was sentenced on Tuesday 6 March at the Old Bailey.

The court heard that Stinci had developed an ‘obsessive’ infatuation with the victim Florina Pastina, 36, who worked as a primary school teacher in Thornton Heath, Croydon, and lived at the same address in Alpha Road. He had watched extreme sado-masochistic pornography the night before, as well as footage of her in the shower.

Stinci was fixated with Florina, buying her presents and always trying to please her, although the two were not ever in a relationship and his advances were not reciprocated.

A neighbour reported hearing a man’s enraged voice and the sound of a female whimpering at 7.22am on July 19 last year.

A 25-year-old man who also lived at the address was woken by the noise and went to investigate. He found Stinci walking from the kitchen, short of breath and sweating. He said: “There’s something wrong with Flo, you may want to check it out.”

As the man went to the kitchen, Stinci approached him from behind and assaulted him with the hammer. As the two struggled, a fellow resident, a 25-year-old woman, came down the stairs and tried to intervene.

Stinci pushed the end of the hammer into her stomach before she managed to hit him with a wine bottle and take the hammer before fleeing out into the street where she shouted to neighbours to call police.

Stinci went outside and retrieved the hammer before disposing of it in the back garden. Then he went to get his jacket and rucksack as if he were going to work.

However, officers attended and Stinci was arrested before he could leave.

Inside the address officers discovered Florina collapsed in the kitchen suffering from severe head injuries as a result of blows inflicted by Stinci.

She was taken to a South London hospital where her life support was withdrawn at 8pm on 20 July 2017 and she died at 01:15am on 21 July.

The pathologist who carried out the post mortem on July 23 gave cause of death as blunt force trauma; concluding that the head injuries were all caused by blunt force trauma consistent with being caused by a significant and sustained assault involving multiple blows from a heavy object.

The brain had severe traumatic injury. The blistered areas on the inner aspects of both thighs were consistent with being caused by a burn from a hot liquid (scald). These were likely to have occurred at or around the time of the incident.

The 25-year-old male victim who was also assaulted was taken to hospital and recovered from his injuries.

Blood samples taken from Stinci and a toxicology report concluded that he had taken a substantial amount of cocaine. It is believed that Stinci may have been experiencing the effects of it at the time of the incident. The toxicology report also found that Stinci had recently taken a high therapeutic dose of Sildenafil, which is a drug used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

When officers searched the address where Florina and Stinci resided, it appeared that Stinci had installed a spy camera in the shower to watch Florina.

The night before he killed Florina, an examination of Stinci’s computer found he had accessed extreme pornographic websites, the majority of which were of a sado-masochistic nature. Also recovered from his hard drive were video files of Florina in the shower.

Stinci was charged on 25 July with murder, attempted murder and possession of a Class A drug.

Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, led the investigation and said: “Through this investigation we’ve got to know two people, Lucian Stinci an evil, wicked man. He was obsessed with Florina, but she had no interest in him. Having taken drugs and watched a significant amount of sado-masochistic videos and then subjected defenceless Florina to a sustained, savage attack. His actions have taken away shining star within the community.

“Florina will always be remembered by those who knew her as a truly amazing young woman, who had such a promising future. She was described as such a talented teacher, who positively shaped the futures of her pupils.”

Children and colleagues from Florina’s school said: “We were all extremely saddened to lose Florina in such a sudden and violent way last summer. At a time when we were all, including Florina, looking forward to the holidays, instead we received news of her death. This has had a significant impact on the children, families and staff at the school. I hope that now we can begin to remember her for the kind, caring teacher and person that she was.”

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