Real Life

Claudia's horror: A roommate's deadly obsession escalated to a desperate murder

Everyone loved my kind, fun aunt Flo, including our housemate Lucian. But when she rejected his advances, he snapped.

By As told to Take 5

Claudia Pastina, 25, shares her real life story...

I raced towards my Aunt Flo at the airport and flung myself into her arms. She squeezed me tight.
'I've missed you,' I said.'I've missed you too,' she replied.
I'd lived in the Netherlands for years, but had decided to move to the UK, where Flo and my twin brother Nick were both living.
Flo was my dad's little sister and to me she was like my mum and best friend all rolled into one.
Nick was already sharing a house with her and when I told her I was coming to the UK, she said I could move in with them, too.
Claudia's first day in London, posing with her aunt Flo. Pictures exclusive to Take 5
Arriving at my new home, I got a surprise.
Flo had gathered friends at the house to welcome me. Nick gave me a big hug, then Flo introduced me to our housemate Lucian.
'Hi, Claudia,' he said, shaking my hand.
He seemed a bit awkward, but he was Flo's friend, so I vowed to make an effort.
Over the next weeks, I settled in quickly. I got a job working as a beautician, and in the evenings Flo and I would have dinner together and chat about our days.
Flo was a schoolteacher and was always full of stories about what she'd done with the kids and funny things they'd said.
Lucian often hung out with us, too, but he didn't join in the conversation much.
One evening, when Flo was working late, Lucian and I were in the house alone. He was from Romania, where I'd grown up, so I asked him about his UK move.
'I don't have many friends here,' he told me. 'And I can't find a girlfriend.'I was surprised he'd opened up to me, but pleased I had the chance to get to know him a bit better. We chatted all evening and I gave him some advice about making friends.
The next day, I told Flo and Nick what he'd said.
'Be careful with him, Claudia,' Nick said. 'That guy's hiding something.'
A few months on, I was chatting to Lucian again and he said, 'I like your aunt, but she doesn't like me.'
Me and Aunt Flo at Notting Hill Carnival in 2016. Pictures exclusive to Take 5
I had seen him trying to flirt with Flo.
I knew he'd bought her little presents and cards in the past, too.
'Flo's very straight-talking,' I told him. 'If she says nothing will happen, just leave it.'
When I spoke to Flo about it the next day, she said, 'I'm not interested in Lucian at all. I told him gently that it's not going to happen and he can't buy my affection. But he carried on flirting and giving me cards and gifts.'
Time passed and Lucian became increasingly moody. He spent more time drinking in his room, but would get annoyed if Flo and I didn't include him when we had dinner or binged on TV box sets together.
Nick, who'd never liked Lucian much, said, 'There's always been something strange about him.'
Whatever was up with him, it was creating a bad atmosphere.
One night, Lucian said, 'I'm tired of making Flo happy, she doesn't appreciate anything.'
I didn't know what to say, so I just brushed it off.
Soon after, Flo and I threw a joint birthday party.
We were dancing together when Lucian said, 'I wish I could see you two playing sexually.'
Story continues after video...
Flo and I looked at each other in shock. Before we had a chance to respond, Lucian stalked off. I told myself he was just drunk.
Then one morning, a few weeks later, I was wrenched from sleep by the sound of screaming.
As I leapt out of bed and ran on to the landing, I heard Nick shouting to me. 'Claudia, call the police!' he told me.
I rushed downstairs and found Nick grappling with Lucian in the hallway. There was blood everywhere and I realised with horror that Lucian was clutching a claw hammer.
'Escape, Claudia,' Nick cried now. 'Run!'
Lucian's face was twisted with rage. But I couldn't leave Nick.
I ran towards them, but Lucian lashed out with the hammer, hitting me in the stomach with it.
I staggered back, trying to catch my breath.
Then I grabbed a bottle of wine from the side and smashed it on Lucian's head.
There was a scuffle and Nick managed to grab the hammer. He threw it out the front door, then we raced outside, screaming for help.
Our neighbours must've heard all the commotion and called in an emergency because moments later police cars and ambulances came screaming into the street.
That's when Nick said, 'Flo's in the house.'
'What do you mean?' I cried.
"The two of us" Claudia and Flo at London's cat cafe. Pictures exclusive to Take 5
I'd just assumed she'd left for work.
'Lucian attacked her first,' he said. 'She's lying on the kitchen floor.'
For a moment, everything froze. Then I screamed and ran towards the house – towards my beloved aunt.
But Nick grabbed me and held me back as the police and paramedics rushed inside.
Moments later, they came out carrying Flo on a stretcher. She was unconscious and covered in blood. I could see the side of her head had been bashed in.
I instantly fell to my knees, crying and screaming.
The police arrested Lucian, and Nick and I were taken to hospital. While we were treated for our injuries, Flo was rushed to theatre for emergency surgery.
Afterwards, she was taken to intensive care. But she'd suffered a catastrophic brain injury and the doctors weren't hopeful she would survive.
We were allowed to see her and as we sat by her bedside, I held her hand.
'I love you,' I said, tearfully. 'Please, come back to us.'
That night, Nick and I went to stay with a friend.
Two days later, our dad flew in from Romania, and after speaking to the doctors, made the heartbreaking decision to turn off Flo's life support.
Nick and I were devastated. Flo, who was just 36, had done so much for both of us.
'I didn't even get to thank her for changing my life,' I said. In the days that followed, Nick and I spoke to the police.
Lucian was charged with killing Flo and remanded in custody.
In time, Lucian Stinci, 34, of Alpha Road, Croydon, Greater London, appeared in the Old Bailey court and admitted to murder, unlawful wounding, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and possessing a class A drug.
The court heard that before the attack, he'd spent more than six hours viewing pornographic films that involved images of women being tortured, raped and stabbed, admitting he found them 'fascinating'.
He had also been drinking and had taken quite a large quantity of cocaine.
Lucian said that when he saw Flo in the morning and she had asked him what was wrong, he 'just snapped'.
He went to his room, got a hammer and struck her on the back of the head while she was making coffee.
She fell to the floor and he hit her at least 17 more times.
When Nick came out of his room, Lucian had told him, 'There's something wrong with Flo. You may need to check it out.'
The court heard that Lucian had become completely infatuated with Flo, and had even secretly filmed her in the shower.
Nick thinks that Lucian (pictured) was obsessed with Flo because she had such a beautiful, pure soul – something that animal will never have. Pictures exclusive to Take 5
Flo had rejected his sexual advances, but wanted to remain friends and kept the cards from him in her bedroom.
In one of the cards, he had written: For the most beautiful creature in the universe. I wish you could see yourself through my eyes tonight.
Lucian told the court, 'I felt a rage like she'd done something to me in the past. Thinking back, frustration and anger about things. It happened very abruptly.'
We knew Lucian was strange, but none of us realised we had a monster in our midst.
Jailing Lucian for life, to serve a minimum of 20 years behind bars, the judge said his attack on Flo had been 'sustained and absolutely brutal'.
I was glad he was being locked up. But no sentence would ever be long enough for taking the life of my beloved aunt.
It's been 10 months now since that monster took Flo from us and Nick and I are still trying to come to terms with the horror of that morning.
But it's brought us closer and we've vowed to stay strong in life, to do Flo proud.
Nick thinks that Lucian was obsessed with Flo because she had such a beautiful, pure soul – something that animal will never have. I agree.
She was the most wonderful person and we'll never stop missing her.

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