Man Jailed After Posing As Charity Fundraiser To Sexually Assault Women, Police Say

Vaseli Baicu assaulted five women—aged between 18 to 81—in July 2018 after knocking on their front doors in Coventry, U.K. He posed with a clipboard and sponsorship forms claiming to be fundraising for a disability group, West Midlands Police stated.

The 26-year-old forced himself on victims, kissing them on the lips and touching them inappropriately over their clothes. He has now been jailed for more than six years.

The Coventry Telegraph reported that Baicu's victims included an elderly woman who suffers from dementia and another woman who was recovering from a stroke. Baicu assaulted one of the young victims in the street as she tried to run away, according to the newspaper.

On two occasions, he also entered the homes of the victims and stole a mobile phone, purse, jewellery and a pension card when their backs were turned, police said.

Police identified Baicu as the prime suspect in the attacks after reviewing CCTV footage, which revealed a vehicle used by him to drive to the locations where the attacks occurred.

Forensic specialists also recovered Baicu's fingerprints from a jewellery box and a charity sponsorship form that he had dropped in the street.

But detectives found he had fled the county shortly after the attacks took place, tracing him to Romania. They worked with Interpol to track his movements around Europe for more than a year.

Coventry Police issued a European Arrest Warrant and police in Denmark arrested Baicu after he tried to enter the county from Sweden and triggered an alert in November.

Officers from Coventry Police traveled to Denmark to escort him back to the U.K. on November 19, 2019.

Baicu admitted to five counts of sexual assault and two counts of burglary and fraud. He was jailed for six years and three months on Tuesday. He will also have to register as a sex offender for life, according to the Coventry Telegraph.

"You present a danger to members of the public, and particularly to lone females," Judge Peter Cooke told Baicu through a Romanian interpreter, the newspaper reported.

"If anyone is in any doubt that that is the position, they [need] only to contemplate that over a period of less than three weeks you committed eight offences, five of them of a sexual nature against seven women. Of course you are a danger," Cooke said.

Detective Constable Mel Oldershaw, from Coventry Police, said: "This was a really complex investigation and turned into a 'catch me if you can' police hunt as we monitored his movements in Europe.

"We issued a European Arrest Warrant for him but he managed to evade capture and we suspect passed through some border checkpoints undetected. But when police in Denmark alerted us when he tried entering the country from Sweden he was arrested and returned to the U.K. to face justice.

"He committed some really awful offences, at times targeting elderly women, and we were determined he wouldn't get away," said Oldershaw.

Vaseli Baicu
Vaseli Baicu was jailed for more than six years after police said he posed as a charity collector to sexually assault women on their doorsteps. West Midlands Police