A BRITISH woman has been sentenced to life after she was found guilty of murdering an Irish man by poisoning him with 'devil's breath'.
Diana Cristea was yesterday sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 16 years, after she was found guilty of assisting her boyfriend, Joel Osei, with the murder of Irish dancer Adrian Murphy in 2019.
Cristea and Osei were both found guilty of murder following a trial at Croydon Crown Court.
Joel Osei was sentenced to life in prison in January of this year, and will serve a minimum of 32 years before being considered for release, with a further five year sentence running concurrently for poisoning a surviving victim.
Sentencing yesterday, the judge acknowledged the Cristea was just 17 at the time of the offences, and said Osei had a higher responsibility in the crime, RTÉ News reports.
Kilkenny native Adrian Murphy was poisoned using “Devil’s Breath” a drug derived from deadly nightshade and commonly used in rapes and kidnappings in South America.
Osei and his teenage girlfriend Diana Cristea, now 19, met Murphy through the gay dating app Grindr.
They had been using a series of fake profiles to befriend men on the app as part of an ongoing scheme to drug and drain their victim’s bank accounts.
Both were arrested on suspicion of murder after Murphy’s body was discovered in a 17th floor flat in Battersea, south-west London, on June 4 2019.
Another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also drugged and robbed by the couple in an incident that took place two days before the attack on Murphy.
The man, who survived the incident, was found by a neighbour semi-naked and in a confused and agitated state, and was later able to identify Osei.
Osei and Cristea later used this man's details to try, unsuccessfully, to buy $80,000 (£62,000) worth of diamonds from a jewellers in New York.
As well as the life in prison sentence for murder, Cristea has also been handed 30 months detention for her part in poisoning the surviving victim, to run concurrently. She escaped any further penalty for her theft and fraud offences, RTÉ News reports.
Murphy was on a year-long sabbatical from his job as a dance teacher and a choreographer at the Royal Academy of Dance in Britain at the time of his death.
He is believed to have died sometime between meeting Osei on June 1 and June 4, when his body was discovered by his best friend and ex-partner.
A forensic examination of the crime scene found his phone had been thrown down the toilet while a can of Coca-Cola was found containing traces of scopolamine – the chemical name for Devil’s Breath.
Osei’s fingerprints were found on a whiskey bottle at the scene of the crime while toxicology tests found the levels of scopolamine in Murphy’s body were well above the level required for a fatal overdose.
Analysis of Osei’s phone and laptop found he had bought scopolamine online.
Described as an “inspirational Irishman”, Murphy’s brother Robert said his sibling’s death had “left a huge void” in his family.
“The world is full of sameness, but this could not be said of our brother Adrian,” he said after Osei was sentenced in January.
“Adrian brought the love and art of dance to thousands of young people all over the world.
“He made so many loyal friends who are so sad at his untimely passing as he was an inspirational Irishman, who was a gifted dancer and choreographer.
“He was also very funny and made everyone laugh at his hilarious stories. He had the gift of bringing people together.
“Our family is heartbroken that Adrian is no longer with us.
“He has left a huge void within our family and the fact we can no longer see or hear from him makes his absence felt all the more.
“Adrian loved his hometown of Kilkenny and, although he was a regular world traveller, he never missed an opportunity to return to his family and friends.
“Adrian’s legacy is that of a hero and hopefully his tragic death has stopped this happening to any other innocent victim.
“He is now dancing amongst the stars. May he rest in peace.”
A seven-time Irish dancing champion, Mr. Murphy, from Kilkenny, had carved out a career as a professional dancer, choreographer and producer in London prior to his death.
His work included choreography on Irish dancing shows such as Feet of Fire and Firedance.