A man has pleaded not guilty to murdering sex worker Mariana Popa.

Farooq Shah, 20, of Station Road in Forest Gate, appeared at Woolwich Crown Court this morning over the fatal stabbing of Romanian national on October 29.

Miss Popa, 24, collapsed in Ilford Lane and was treated for stab injuries, but later died at the Royal London Hospital due to excessive shock and bleeding.

Last month, Operation Clearlight, a police operation which aims to clampdown on sex workers in Ilford Lane, was accused of putting women’s lives at risk by stopping them working in groups.

Mr Shah's trial will commence on May 12 at Woolwich Crown Court.