A vicious thief who beat up two women and a teenage girl in their home after pretending to be an Amazon delivery driver has been sentenced to 16 years in prison today.
Sandel Hornea, who fled his home to Romania after the crime, was summoned to the family home in Luton, Bedfordshire wearing a Hi-Viz jacket and carrying a package.
When the door was answered, the thug broke into his way and launched a brutal attack on the three family members.
Sandel Hornea, 36, was carrying a package wearing a high-visibility jacket when he broke into the property as the front door to a property in Luton, Bedfordshire was opened in September 2019
Hornia forced himself into the house, attacking a 14-year-old girl, her aunt and her grandmother as they broke into the house.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of grievous bodily harm and one each of actual bodily harm and theft in Luton Crown Court.
The attack on the family took place at their home in Luton at 10:30 a.m. on September 2, 2019, and was recorded on the family’s CCTV.
The shocking footage was recently shown on Channel 4’s new series “24 Hours In Police Custody.”
First, Hornia punches the 14-year-old who opened the door. She was knocked to the ground and fractured her eye socket.
He dealt another crushing blow to the 61-year-old’s grandmother in the hallway, knocking her unconscious and causing a brain hemorrhage.
Hornia, a professional criminal with past crimes in Romania, Italy and Hungary, drags both the unconscious grandmother and her semi-conscious granddaughter across the hallway floor into the kitchen.
Hearing the commotion, the teen’s 37-year-old aunt ran down the stairs, only to be repeatedly punched around the head by Hornia who stole his satellite TV boxes and Nintendo Wii.
Within hours of the revolting assaults on the women and schoolgirl, he fled the country.
Hornia was sentenced in Luton Crown Court today, Judge Mark Bishop sentenced the 36-year-old offender to 11 years in prison with a further 5-year sentence extended because he said he was a “dangerous criminal”.
This means that he could be called to prison at any time until 2037.
Hornia is filmed here at Luton Airport, and he was recently featured in the Channel 4 documentary 24 Hours in Police custody.
Hornia was extradited to the UK where he later pleaded guilty to the attack
The judge said in the ruling: ‘This was a shocking and brutal attack on three women aged 14-61 in their home, which left two of them unconscious – one with fractures to her face, she had to undergo an operation, the other suffering from unconsciousness. Two bleeding into her brain. The third was punched in the face four times and remained bruised.
Hornia, who previously served a nine-year prison sentence in Italy for sex trafficking that was later increased to 11 years and six months, managed to sneak into the UK in 2019 when Britain was still abiding by free movement rules before Brexit.
He was identified from the family’s CCTV cameras and fingerprints found on the empty cardboard box he left at the scene.
Three months earlier, Hornia had come to the attention of Luton detectives when police raided a suspected brothel in the city and found him and his partner there, along with other young women. No action was taken against him in this regard.
On the same day as the attack, Hornia boarded a plane out of the country and fled to Romania.
Investigators found CCTV footage of Orne boarding a plane bound for Romania hours after the attack
Shortly thereafter, the father of the youngest victim decided to post the CCTV footage online in an effort to find the attacker. Accompanying the film was a reward of £20,000 for information.
The footage went viral, alarming Bedfordshire police who feared it would simply push Hornia deeper into hiding and make it difficult to find as he went to the ground.
They appealed to the public not to share CCTV footage on social media.
On the TV show, Sgt. Tom Hamm, who led the investigation, said: “The police are all about holding your cards close to your chest and not giving away what you have.”
He added that the publication of CCTV images on social media made the suspect a “high escape risk”.
After escaping from the United Kingdom, nothing was heard of Hornia for several months, although it was believed that he had returned to his native Romania.
The police began working with the Romanian authorities and applied for a European arrest warrant. It was eventually found and brought back to the UK in March 2021.
Hornia pleaded guilty to two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, assault causing actual bodily harm and robbery.
The court was told that the three victims felt fear and anxiety because of what had happened to them two years earlier.
“It is clear that this attack was targeted and pre-planned,” Judge Bishop told him.
He said he used the trick by wearing an Amazon driver’s uniform. Referring to CCTV, he said, “The use of violence was frightening to watch.”