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Controlling father who stabbed to death three-week-old son and left his partner to die is jailed for life

Denis Beytula

A controlling and abusive father has today been jailed for life after he stabbed to death his three-week-old son and left his partner to die in a pool of her own blood.

Denis Beytula, 27, has been sentenced to life with a minimum of 23 years behind bars after the violent attack on his own family on October 1.

A court was told how he stabbed his three-week-old son Andrei two times in the torso before turning the knife on his fiancée Andreea Steffan and stabbing her six times.

A badly injured Andreea, 21, was able to dial 999 and ask for help and emergency services were deployed to the address the couple shared on Portland Close in Wallsend.

Beytula called police seconds later to tell them he had “killed my wife and baby”. Officers soon arrived on scene and he was arrested outside the address.

The first officers on the scene were then left to deliver emergency CPR to little Andrei while also trying to stem the bleeding from Andreea’s wounds.

Both victims were rushed to hospital but despite the heroic efforts of medical staff at the RVI, Andrei sadly did not survive and died four days later.

Doctors were able to save Andreea’s life and she was given the chance to hold her son in her arms one last time before he took his last breath.

Beytula was charged with murder and attempted murder and pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court on October 31.

And today (Thursday) Andreea bravely watched on from the public gallery as the violent killer was jailed for life with a minimum of 23 years behind bars.

Detective Inspector Graeme Dodds, of Northumbria Police’s Homicide and Major Investigation Team, has now praised the bravery shown by Andreea and her family.

He said: “I have no hesitation when I say that Denis Beytula is an evil man who has no respect for the two people he was supposed to love and care for.

“His actions were motivated by jealousy of his own three-week-old son, who he saw as a rival for the affections of his partner.

“I cannot comprehend how a person can take the life of a newborn baby and that makes him the most dangerous offender I have ever had to deal with.

“What makes it even more monstrous is that he has continued to show no remorse for what he has done.

“But I am glad that he will now spend a long time behind bars and will now lose grip of the control he had over the woman he claimed to love.

“I know his sentence will come as little comfort to Andreea who will carry the physical and emotional scars of the attack with her forever.

“But I want to take this opportunity to say how proud we are of her for the strength and resilience she has shown throughout this investigation.

“We hope that today can bring her some closure and that she can begin to find herself again now that Denis Beytula is behind bars.”

During the sentencing hearing, the court was told how Beytula had emotionally and physically abused Andreea throughout a coercive 11-month relationship.

That controlling behaviour only got worse and Beytula would stop Andreea socialising, forced her to delete social media and threatened to kill himself if she left him.

Andreea fell pregnant in early 2019 but his coercive behaviour continued throughout the pregnancy and worsened when he had been drinking.

Little Andrei was born on September 11 and in the days after the birth Beytula even made comments that he would kill his baby if he “could not be a good father”.

The court was told how he became consumed by the idea that Andreea wanted to leave him and would take the baby back to their native Romania.

He became jealous of the attention Andreea was giving to their child and it was this growin anger that led to the violent attack in October.

Det Insp Dodds added: “Beytula’s relationship with Andreea was relatively short but he was still able to create a coercive environment from which she felt she could never escape.

“The way he treated her throughout that relationship is disgusting and even throughout her pregnancy he continued to abuse and disrespect her.

“He controlled her, isolated her and made her feel like she had no option but to try to make the best of the situation she was in.

“When he felt like he was losing control he turned to violence and committed the most violent and heinous crime I have ever had to investigate.

“I want to take this opportunity to reach out to any other person who may be in the same situation as Andreea.

“If you are suffering in silence then please speak to someone you trust or to the police. We can provide advice, support and find you a way out.”

Andreea Stefan, 21, revealed she will “never forgive” Denis Beytula after he stabbed their son Andrei to death on October 2 at the home they shared in Wallsend.

Beytula was jailed for life at Newcastle Crown Court today (Thursday) after the crazed attack in which he fatally stabbed the infant twice before violently stabbing Andreea six times.

Andreea watched on from the public gallery as prosecutors outlined an abusive relationship druing which Beytula stopped her socialising with friends, made her delete social media accounts and threatened to kill himself if she left him.

Following the sentencing hearing, the brave victim spoke of her “broken” heart and said “no sentence ever given at court would have been enough”.

Andreea said: “It is impossible for me to put into words the impact that this attack has had on me or how I feel in this moment.

“Denis was a man who was supposed to love me and my son. He was supposed to take care of us and keep us safe.

“But in one moment Denis shattered my whole world. In that one moment my heart was broken and my worst nightmare came true.

“I remember Andrei being brought to me in hospital so I could have one last goodbye before he took his last breath.

“I suffered six stab wounds myself and had lots of internal bleeding but that pain was nothing compared to the pain of my broken heart.

“I will never see him grow up, make friends, go to school or get married. No parent should have to attend their child’s funeral or see their baby in a coffin.

“I have spent every second of my life since that day looking for reasons that could have made the outcome different.

“I have blamed myself for not breaking up with Denis earlier but only those who have been in a controlling relationship will understand why I stayed.

“He made me feel like I could not find anyone better and that nobody else could be a father to our son. He manipulated me and said everything he did was for love.

“But now I know that what he had for me was not love. Love doesn’t try to control you, love doesn’t threaten you and love doesn’t kill babies.

“While Denis made me a victim, I made myself a survivor.

“No sentence given to him at court today would have been enough. Not when my baby is dead and he is still breathing in his prison cell.

“With everything I am, with everything I have ever been, and with everything I will ever be, I will never forgive him.”

Detective Inspector Graeme Dodds, of Northumbria Police’s Homicide and Major Investigation Team, has also praised the bravery shown by Andreea and her family.

He said: “I know his sentence will come as little comfort to Andreea who will carry the physical and emotional scars of the attack with her forever.

“But I want to take this opportunity to say how proud we are of her for the strength and resilience she has shown throughout this investigation.

“We hope that today can bring her some closure and that she can begin to find herself again now that Denis Beytula is behind bars.”

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