'Close Finsbury Park gates at night or someone else will die,' warns friend of murdered Iuliana Tudos
PUBLISHED: 09:42 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:15 19 December 2018
Twelve months on from the brutal murder of a "loving and free spirited" barmaid in Finsbury Park, Haringey Council has at last said it will consider locking the gates at night - next year.
Iuliana Tudos, 22, was taking a shortcut through the park on Christmas Eve 2017 when she was tortured and killed by Kasim Lewis, then 31, now serving life in prison. Her body was found a few days later.
Following Iuliana’s death her heartbroken friends campaigned for the gates to be locked at dusk and for improved safety in the park, leading to a joint police and council audit.
Officers made a host of recommendations to the council to improve safety – one of which was locking the gates at night to “prevent people using the park in the dark and putting themselves at risk”.
But it didn’t happen, and over the summer a woman in her 40s was raped in the park at night.
This week, a council spokesperson finally vowed: “We will continue to look into the issue of the park gates in 2019.”
Iuliana’s friends are left wondering why it’s taken this long.
“I think it’s disgusting,” said Mick Wood.
“The park should be shut or at least patrolled 24/7.
“There’s a lack of security in an undesirable area and it’s putting everybody at risk – close the gates or someone else will die.
“They [Haringey Council] know what’s going on and they’re choosing to play political tennis.”
Mick, 55, works security at various Camden venues, where he came to know Iuliana – who was a barmaid at The World’s End pub.
He says he wrote to every Haringey councillor after her death, explaining his connection, and urging them to support closing the gates.
He claims no one responded.
Haringey’s environment chief Cllr Kirsten Hearn said: “Residents’ safety is of course one of our priorities.
“This is why we are working with our neighbouring boroughs and partners on safety issues in the area.
“Improvements have included cutting back foliage and lifting tree and shrub canopies to improve visibility.
“Other matters are also being explored including a dedicated park manager and two rangers.”