A 'cold-blooded' murderer will be sentenced today for the death of a pregnant prostitute.

Mother-of-one Mariana Popa was stabbed to death whilst working in Ilford Lane, Ilford, on October 28 last year. 

Farooq Shah, 21, of Station Road in Forest Gate was convicted of the murder and carrying out a knife point robbery on a second victim just hours before in Upton Park, at Woolwich Crown Court on June 3.

The brutal killing of Miss Popa, a 24 year-old Romanian national was captured on CCTV and used as evidence to prosecute Shah.

Miss Popa and her six-year old daughter had arrived in the UK just weeks before the fatal attack which left her fighting for her life inside a chicken shop in Ilford Lane.

Just hours before the 'senseless' attack, officers patrolling the area had spoken to her three times and issued her with a caution for soliciting.

Investigating officer detective inspector Darren Richards said:

"This was a cold-blooded, senseless murder by a man who went out that night, armed with a knife, intent on using it to commit serious injury to someone.

"He had already threatened and robbed a vulnerable man with a knife earlier that night, and he was hanging around the Ilford Lane area, looking for another victim.

"He killed Mariana because she was there, because he thought he could get away with it.

"In doing so, he has deprived a young daughter of her mother. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of Mariana."

Police were called by London Ambulance Service and Miss Popa was treated at the scene for stab injuries but died two hours later at a London hospital.

A post-mortem examination revealed she died from shock, haemorrhage and stab wounds to the chest.

Shah was arrested on November 6 after he was found by officers at an address in St Francis Way, Ilford and charged with murder on November 8.