Valerie Graves murder: Man arrested in Romania over 'brutal' murder of grandmother in West Sussex

A MAN has been arrested over the murder of a grandmother who was house-sitting in West Sussex.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 11:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 6:35 pm

Valerie Graves, who was 55 years old, was found brutally murdered in her bedroom in Smugglers Lane, Bosham on December 30, 2013.

She had been staying at the property while the owners were away over Christmas.

Valerie was a mother and a grandmother.

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A heavy police presence at the house where Valerie Graves was murdered. Picture: Zach Culpin/Solent News

Romanian national Cristian Sabou, 28, was arrested this morning at his address in Dej by officers from the Romanian National Police, who served on him the European Arrest Warrant which had been authorised by a district judge in the UK.

Detectives from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team were present in Romania to work with the authorities there.

Sabou’s extradition is now being sought through the Romanian courts and he will now appear court in Cluj-Napoca to face extradition proceedings. The time and date of the have not yet been confirmed.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Fanner said: ‘This is a major development in the case. It follows detailed enquiries in Romania by officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, in which we were assisted by valuable liaison with local law enforcement officers of the General Police Inspectorate, Criminal Investigations Directorate, Bucharest, the Criminal Investigation Service in Cluj, and the Special Operations Brigade in Cluj, also the local prosecutor.

Valerie Graves who was killed in 2013. Provided by Sussex Police

‘We have worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service throughout and they have authorised the prosecution. We have also had valuable support from the National Crime Agency’s overseas network.

‘Valerie’s family have been kept informed of developments but they are not making any public statement at this time.

‘We now hope to ensure, subject to the decision of the Romanian courts and judicial authorities, Sabou’s return to this country for an appearance before magistrates with a view to his being sent for Crown Court trial.

‘This is a major development in our task of achieving justice for Valerie and her family, but now the case is before the courts, proceedings are active, and we are not in a position to disclose any further information at this time.’

Picture of Valerie Graves family Nigel Acres, Tim Wood and Jemima Harrison. Picture: Sussex Police