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Man admits ‘brutal’ murder of Rainham woman

PUBLISHED: 15:16 25 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:50 27 February 2019

Julie Hunt, 47, from Rainham, with her fiance. She died after an assault in West Thurrock on Friday, April 20.

Julie Hunt, 47, from Rainham, with her fiance. She died after an assault in West Thurrock on Friday, April 20.

Just Giving page

A man who brutally assaulted a 47-year-old woman from Rainham in an unprovoked attack has admitted murder.

Julie Hunt was walking along A1306 Arterial Way in West Thurrock near Lakeside Shopping Centre at around 8.30am on Friday, April 20 last year when she was attacked.

She was approached by Florin Ion who assaulted her, knocking her to the floor and repeatedly kicked her.

The 31-year-old man then left her but was detained by members of the public near the Essex Arena and was arrested by police.

Ms Hunt was treated by paramedics but sadly died at the scene.

Ion, from Ipswich Crescent in Birmingham was charged with murder and pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Monday, February 25).

Senior investigating officer Ch Supt Tracey Harman, said: “This was a brutal and totally unprovoked attack which has left an innocent woman dead.

“Florin Ion’s actions have left Julie’s family devastated and he now faces a significant amount of time behind bars.

“He has at least spared them the trauma of re-living the ordeal through a trial.

“I want to praise Julie’s family for their dignity and courage throughout the investigation.

“I also want to thank the members of the public who detained Ion before officers arrived.”

“Julie was a kind-hearted mother-of-two who was loved by many,” reads a tribute on the crowdfunder website.

“She was a soft soul who cared about anyone and everything around her.

“Julie’s loss has left a massive hole in all our lives, but we can remember her as the generous, loving, outgoing and amazing woman she was.

“There was never a day that would go by without seeing her beautiful smile.”

Julie worked as a nursing assistant for veterinary surgeries and she joined Vets4Pets Thurrock in 2015. A supporter on the justgiving page mentioned that Julie’s “kind and caring” nature was the reason they signed their dogs up to Vets4Pets.

The donations amounted to £4,095 and were given to Julie’s family.

Ion will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court in Thursday, March 7.

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