Hammer attacker who fled Britain for Transylvania tells court the killing was ...

Romanian Cristian Sabou, 27, admitted killing British grandmother Valerie Graves yesterday

Romanian Cristian Sabou, 27, admitted killing British grandmother Valerie Graves yesterday

The Romanian suspect in the killing of a British grandmother made a sensational courtroom confession yesterday – and apologised to her family.

Cristian Sabou, 27, was picked up by police on Wednesday under a European Arrest Warrant, having been wanted over the claw hammer killing of Valerie Graves, 55.

She had been house-sitting for a friend when she was killed in an idyllic coastal Sussex village over Christmas in 2013.

At his first appearance in court yesterday, Sabou – who lived in England for five years – spoke from the dock, in the presence of the judge, to admit to the killing in Bosham, West Sussex. He claimed it happened after he panicked when his victim caught him burgling the house in the dead of night.

Standing below the chandeliers of the grand appeal court hearing room, Sabou was asked what he had to say to the family of Miss Graves, and replied: ‘I’m very sorry, I’m really sorry. I did not mean to harm her. It was an accident.

‘I was young, 21, childish, without a job, I did not have much money, it was my first time in England.

‘I never did any harm in my life. Someone told me there was a lot of money in that house – I never went there to kill someone. I thought everybody was away.

He made the confession in court. The 55-year-old was found dead in a friend's house in Bosham, West Sussex, when Sabou broke into the property with a hammer

He made the confession in court. The 55-year-old was found dead in a friend's house in Bosham, West Sussex, when Sabou broke into the property with a hammer

Valerie Graves (Pictured). After confessing to the killing, he said he was 'very sorry' to the family. 'I did not mean to harm her. It was an accident,' he said

Valerie Graves (Pictured). After confessing to the killing, he said he was 'very sorry' to the family. 'I did not mean to harm her. It was an accident,' he said

Sabou has agreed to a bid by Sussex Police to have him brought back to the UK so that he can face a charge of murder. Judge Claudia Ilies ruled that he would be flown to the country within 10 days

Sabou has agreed to a bid by Sussex Police to have him brought back to the UK so that he can face a charge of murder. Judge Claudia Ilies ruled that he would be flown to the country within 10 days

‘She was sleeping in bed, she woke up and she surprised me. I panicked. I had a hammer with me. I did not mean to harm her.’

In yesterday’s 40-minute extradition hearing in the province of

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