The Batman sadist who killed twice

Sadistic killer Kasim Lewis tied up and tortured a barmaid and murdered a civil servant when she refused to undress for him.

Lewis, 31, abducted Iuliana Tudos, 22, on Christmas Eve 2017 as she walked across Finsbury Park in north London and bound her with cable ties in an ordeal lasting at least an hour and a half.

The convicted sex attacker forced her to reveal her PIN number then left her desecrated corpse in a burnt out shed after cutting her wrists to the bone and slitting her throat.

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett said: ‘Iuliana’s naked body was found in a dilapidated shed in Finsbury Park.

‘At some point in the course of a sustained and brutal attack the defendant must have forced her to reveal her PIN number.

‘She was struck over the head, most likely with a bottle and after he used the bottle to cause deep lying injuries on her back, her neck and her wrists.

Mr Aylett said the injuries were ‘barbaric’ and added: ‘The only question was Iuliana conscious at the time of the injuries.

Iuliana’s body was found in a burnt out shed by desperately worried friends

Lewis was seen on CCTV just after 10pm at Manor House tube station.

He attempted to withdraw £100 from her bank account but could only take out £30, and then bought a bottle of brandy.

In the days afterwards, Lewis texted a friend to ask if he had ‘seen the news’ about the barmaid.

Feigning ignorance her said ‘Christmas Eve? That’s what Saturday she was missing?’

Ms Tudos, also known as Julia or Lili, was discovered three days later on 27 December after her concerned friends retraced her steps.

A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as a stab wound to the abdomen and a head injury.

Lewis was arrested at an address in Dalston on January 1 and charged with murder the next day.

Ms Tudos, of Russian and Greek origin, had been working a shift at the Worlds End pub in Camden that night before heading to the Dover Castle nearby.

She agreed to spend the next day at her friend’s house for Christmas and was planning on staying the night and headed home first to collect some things.

The killer carved an ‘M’ or batman symbol into the victim’s chest 

She was last seen just after 8pm on CCTV as she walked across Finsbury Park to her flat in Upper Tollington Park.

Ms Tudos had been due to meet with friends in Enfield but never arrived, prompting a police appeal for information.

Lewis was forced to leave his homeland of Montessarat in 1995 after the volcano disaster.

He is addicted to drugs, indeed he was high on cocaine and cannabis during the attack, and was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2003.

Lewis was jailed for two years for sexual assault and exposure on a bus and placed on the sex offenders register in September 2005.

He then received a further eight months in jail for failing to comply with the sex offender notification requirements and a community order in 2011.

Lewis, of Friern Barnet Road, New Southgate, north London, admitted murder

Kasim Lewis was jailed for life with a minimum of 29 years for the ‘horrendous and barbaric’ killing.

Judge Richard Marks, QC, said: ‘This was a murder for gain. What is however, in dispute is whether this case should be categorised as a murder involving sexual or sadistic conduct.

‘There must have been a sexual element, even if for some reason that was not something that was persisted in.

‘There is no doubt that this was a killing that involved the most appalling brutality as the photographs demonstrate.

‘It is a killing that has been rightly described as horrendous and barbaric.

‘At the time of the attack, this slightly built young woman was alone in a park at night and as such, vulnerable in the extreme as you unquestionably realised.

‘She must have died a terrible death and what you did to her was wicked beyond belief.’

Sarah Dale, from the CPS, said: ‘Iuliana was killed in a sustained and brutal attack on Christmas Eve and her body later found inside a shed in Finsbury Park.

‘Hours after Iuliana entered that park, Kasim Lewis used her bank card and PIN at a cash machine. He knew her PIN because he had got it from her before he murdered her.

‘His jeans stained with her blood were found in his flat, and her phone signal was identified nearby.

‘Our thoughts are with Iuliana’s family today and we hope today’s conviction and sentence bring them some measure of satisfaction

The court heard before he left the body Lewis carved either the Batman logo or the letter ‘M’ into the middle of her chest.

The killer was a bisexual who was in a relationship with a man but prowled Finsbury Park to satisfy his cravings for casual sex.

He had a fascination with sadism and had a pornographic film on his phone called ‘Step Sisters Caught.’

Among the trailers was one entitled, ‘Bad Teens Punished’ where a young woman is chased into an alleyway by a man who says: ‘She ain’t getting away again.’

The woman says: ‘Please don’t hurt me. I’ll do anything’ and white cable ties are seen around her wrists.

Kasim Lewis was caught on CCTV using the victim’s bank card

Another chilling image showed a woman with a slit throat.

Lewis began amassing his previous convictions in 2002 when he was 15 and was sent to a Young Offenders’ Institute for 18 months for car theft.

In 2005, he was sentenced to two years’ detention for offences of sexual assault and exposure and put on the sex offenders register for life.

Lewis had boarded a bus and prodded the woman’s bottom through a gap in her seat and she turned to see him performing a sex act.

He also has previous convictions for burglary, attempted theft and handling stolen goods.

The court head Iuliana was just 5’1” tall and of slight build.

She came to London in 2013 and had worked in Camden Market selling T-shirts featuring characters from Japanese anime cartoons.

Since early 2017 she had been working at the World’s End and was well-known and much-liked figure in the area.

Her friends  described her as a ‘selfless…helpful’ person and ‘very open and honest…she would speak to anyone’.

At the time of the killing she was living in a bed-sit in a house on Upper Tollington Park, not far from Finsbury Park.

Mr Aylett said the pathologist found the bizarre carved symbol on her body.

‘He has described the incised injury to the centre of Iuliana’s chest as looking like either the logo for the screen character ‘Batman’ or else the letter ‘M’.

When he was arrested Lewis said to police, ‘What do you want me to say?’ the officer replied, ‘That is a matter for you,’ he said, ‘I did it.’

At his flat were a pair of blood stained jeans and knife stashed in a freezer.

Iuliana was loved by friends and workmates   

Police found violent porn films on his phone including a woman with a deep wound to her throat and another where a woman is chased down an alley and tied up with white cable ties.

Her stepfather, Costas Vasiliov, said in a statement read to the court: ‘Iuliana was full of energy, she never caused any trouble at school or at home, she lived with us from the age of three when her mother and I were married.

‘She was loved and cherished by all of her friends and family.

‘Our dream was to get her back from Cyprus after her graduation, all of this now is gone.

‘The only thing that gives us strength is that Iuliana is now safe in God’s hands – she was murdered, all her dreams have been lost.’

Jeremy Dein, QC, defending, said Lewis wanted to express his ‘sincere remorse.’

He said Lewis carried out the murder out of ‘morbid curiosity with the human anatomy’ and it was not sexually motivated.

Lewis later admitted stabbing a retired civil servant to death in her own home just weeks earlier.

Catherine Burke, 55, was found bound and gagged at her £700,000 north London home after police responding to concerns about the mother’s welfare forced entry on 16 November 2017.

Catherine Burke – refused to undress for the sadist

Originally from Galway, Ireland, Ms Burke had lived at the property in Hill Road, Muswell Hill, for around 20 years.

Lewis  pleaded guilty to her murder.

At an earlier hearing Paul Jarvis, for the prosecution, said: ‘The victim in this case is Catherine Burke and she was found stabbed to death at her home address on Thursday 16 November 2017.

‘The evidence that links the defendant to her murder is DNA found at the scene and there is mobile telephone evidence from her showing her devices moving as it were in the direction to where the defendant was living.

‘Very shortly after when we predict the killing took place – because she wasn’t discovered for a number of days between the last contact anybody had with her and when the police were able to gain access to her flat – the phones were taken by him.

‘As a result of data obtained from the telephone usage it appears that those phones were active, but not actually at her address at the particular time, meaning they had left the address and at the particular time were, the Crown say, in the possession of this defendant.

‘He, when arrested, had on his mobile telephone pornographic material showing, we would say, that he has a sexual interest in the sorts of things which he may well have done to Ms Burke prior to killing her.

‘I do not really want to go into the graphic detail of it, but My Lord is obviously aware of the conviction for murder he has for an offence committed a matter of weeks after he is said to have murdered Catherine Burke, which the Crown says is capable of showing that he is somebody who has a tendency to use murderous violence towards lone women.’

Lewis was forced to leave his homeland of Montessarat in 1995 after the volcano disaster.

He became addicted to drugs and was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2003.

Lewis was jailed for two years for sexual assault and exposure on a bus and placed on the sex offenders register in September 2005.

He then received a further eight months in jail for failing to comply with the sex offender notification requirements and a community order in 2011.

Judge Richard Marks said he was ‘just persuaded by a narrow margin’ that Lewis should not be locked up for the rest of his life.

He jailed the ‘extremely dangerous’ double-murderer for at least 40 years.

The judge said the description by Ms Burke’s son of his mother’s murder as ‘wicked and senseless’ was ‘if anything a substantial understatement’.

‘You subjected your victim, a vulnerable middle-aged lady living alone, to an unimaginably dreadful ordeal.’

He said he facts of this killing alone ‘make this as grave an offence of murder as one can imagine’.

‘Although it is right to say that there was no evidence that your victim had been sexually assaulted, the fact that she was found naked coupled with this internet activity leads me to the clear conclusion that this was a murder involving at least a sexual element or motivation, albeit that in the first instance I am prepared to allow the possibility that as asserted by you, that you may have been looking out for a property to burgle to fund your drug habit,’ he added.

‘You have handed a letter in which you make the following assertion: “While being chased by Ms Burke’s dog I dropped a rucksack which it picked up and gave to her. I marched her upstairs and had her disrobe, hoping she would give me its location.

‘”When she didn’t I bound her and stabbed her, the same as I did to Ms Tudos when she wouldn’t give me her banking details.

‘That account is one that I reject as bordering on the fatuous.’

Judge Marks continued: ‘I am satisfied, having regard to the fact that you broke into this house and stole items from it that as well as the sexual element to which I have alluded, this was in addition a murder done for gain, and I note in this regard that you have a very substantial history of offences of burglary.’

Ms Burke’s son Niall Galbally, 22, son of Catherine Burke, said: ‘When someone reminisces to a poignant day in their life, the narrative usually follows a positive route.

‘For me, Niall Galbally, my story is one of polar opposite. The 16th November 2017, was the day my life was completely uprooted, my world came crashing down before me. In the midst of my second year at university, I received a phone call from a then neighbour to say that police and ambulance services have been outside your house for some time. I will never forget the chilling words that followed, “Niall, I don’t know how to tell you this, but they believe your mum has been found dead”.

‘Being 70 odd miles away in Brighton, feelings of intense despair and misery consumed me. Feelings that would increase in an unquantifiable amount the next morning when the police informed me and my family, that my mother’s death is now being treated as a murder investigation.

‘Growing up in London, I had unfortunately become accustomed to hearing about murders on a far too regular basis. Never, ever, did I expect that a murder would land at my own front door. Nothing, and I mean nothing, prepares you for that.

‘There are simply no amount of words that can describe the sheer devastation this has caused me and my family. My life hasn’t been the same since, and my life will never be the same again. A wicked and senseless act, that has caused an untold amount of pain. It took my mum some time to accept the fact that I was becoming a man, but she finally had. Our relationship as mother and son was blossoming. We had so much left to do together.

‘The actions of this man, robbed that from me, from us, and it’s something that I will never get back. A massive hole resides in my heart for the loss of my mother, no amount of justice will mend that, but I take great comfort in the fact that the man responsible for such brutality has been caught. This is the closing of a horrible chapter in my life, but the opening of a new one, when I can leave this nightmare behind me.’