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Serial thief Romanian man who murdered Rose Hanrahan was on the run from UK cops

At the time of the killing that shocked Ireland, Iordache and his brother Eugen were on the run from the UK in connection with a series of thefts in the south of England.

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Alexandru Iordache was wanted in the UK

Alexandru Iordache was wanted in the UK

Alexandru Iordache was wanted in the UK

A Romanian man who pleaded guilty to the horror murder of pensioner Rose Hanrahan was a serial thief on the run from British police when he killed her.

On Wednesday, Alexandru Iordache (46), a native of Dreptatii in Bucharest, Romania, pleaded guilty to the murder of the 78-year-old widow at her home in New Street, Thomondgate, Limerick in December 2017.

At the time of the killing that shocked Ireland, Iordache and his brother Eugen were on the run from the UK in connection with a series of thefts in the south of England.

The pair had gone on the run after failing to answer bail in connection with an attempted car theft in Newhaven in July 2016.

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Eugen Iordache

Eugen Iordache

Eugen Iordache

In March 2018, Sussex Police issued an appeal for information about the whereabouts of Iordache and his brother Eugen (34).

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Rose Hanrahan was found dead in her home.

Rose Hanrahan was found dead in her home.

The funeral mass of Rose Hanrahan took place in Limerick at St Michael's Church.

The funeral mass of Rose Hanrahan took place in Limerick at St Michael's Church.

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Rose Hanrahan was found dead in her home.

The appeal said it was thought they had been in Ireland at the start of 2018.

The pair had appeared at Lewes Crown Court, giving a Doncaster address.

Both admitted the attempted theft of a woman’s bag in Newhaven in July 2016 plus another attempted theft.

Iordache received a 12-month jail term, rendering him liable to deportation, while Eugen got eight months, suspended for two years.

Iordache was eventually extradited to Ireland on January 16, 2020, and gardai arrested him at Dublin Airport and charged him with Ms Hanrahan’s murder.

On Tuesday, Iordache told the Central Criminal Court he ‘feels sorry for what he did’ after pleading guilty to the murder of the Limerick pensioner.

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The 46-year-old was arraigned on the single count of the murder of the widow at New Road in Thomondgate, Limerick, between December 14 and 15, 2017.

Iordache, with the assistance of an interpreter, replied: “Guilty, and I feel sorry for what I did”.

The brief hearing was attended by around a dozen members of Ms Hanrahan’s family and the garda investigation team.

Mr Justice Michael White remanded Iordache in custody to appear before the court again on July 5.

The court heard Iordache had been due to stand trial on this date, but will now be sentenced instead following his plea of guilty.

The murder of Rose Hanrahan caused shockwaves in the community where she lived and led to extra garda resources being deployed in the area as gardai hunted for her killer.

Speaking after the killing, Rose’s sister Helen Carmody told the Sunday World how her sister had been discovered lying dead on her sitting room floor, a scarf around her neck, by another sibling on the morning on December 15.

Helen said she suspected her sister’s killer panicked when he discovered her sitting up in her pyjamas and watching TV.

“There was a scarf around her neck and covering her face,” Helen told the Sunday World at the time.

“We assume it was [a burglary]. There was a hole in the kitchen window — they obviously put that in and got in the back,” she said.

“My sister went in and the bedroom was wrecked. Evelyn said: ‘Oh God she’s after being broken into.’

“And when they went into the sitting room they found her on the floor. She had a scarf around her neck and her face was covered.”

Describing her sister, Helen said Rose was mad about all her nieces and nephews and the neighbours’ children.

Rose’s husband Michael passed away five years earlier and the popular couple had no children.

Helen continued that Rose had never bothered with getting a house alarm because she wasn’t nervous.

“She just believed she’d be safe in her own home,” Helen said.

The breakthrough in the case came after Iordache was identified through facial-recognition technology in Europe after he fled Ireland on a ferry bound for France.

A mammoth investigation, led by Superintendent Derek Smart, included a file containing 1,300 witness statements, forensic evidence at Ms Hanrahan’s home, and hundreds of hours of trawling through CCTV security camera footage in Limerick, as a well as at ports, bus and rail stations and airports.

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