Date: 8 Mar 2003
Oxana Rodionova was strangled at her flat.
A man was tried for her murder but acquitted after he said that the people responsible for her death had fled the country. After being acquitted he was convicted of conspiracy to commit burglary after having admitted planning on burgling what he said he thought was an empty flat.
The flat was used by Oxana Rodionova, who was a prostitute and two other prostitutes.
The man that was tried for her murder said that he and two other men had planned to rob Oxana Rodionova's flat for £20,000 that they thought was there. He said that he had kept lookout while the other man had gone into the flat and ransacked it. He admitted that he had gone into the flat but said that he had been upstairs at the time and that when he had gone downstairs he had seen Oxana Rodionova dead on the floor.
Police also found the man's fingerprint in a left-handed Marigold washing up glove which had traces of Oxana Rodionova's DNA on it. The washing up glove was found hear the house of the second man, the alleged killer, in Holland Road, Notting Hill by a gardener along with some other items stolen from the flat. He had found two gloves. Police found the gloves contained the palm and fingerprint of the man who was tried for Oxana Rodionova's murder and a mark from the third man involved who was supposed to attend court to provide evidence but failed to show up.
The second man that was thought to have murdered Oxana Rodionova had fled the country with the man that was tried for her murder, and was thought to be in the Ukraine. the man that was tried for Oxana Rodionova's murder later returned to the United Kingdom and was arrested.
Oxana Rodionova had arrived in the United Kingdom in September 2002 from Cheboskary in Siberia and had enrolled on an English language course, but she didn't turn up for lessons and instead registered with an escort agency and started working as a prostitute. She then later moved in with two Russian sisters at 30 Ashworth Mansions and became engaged to her British boyfriend on 17 February 2003. She was said to have seemed very, very happy.
She was said to have paid thousands of pounds to Mafia men to arrange her journey to the United Kingdom which she had had to pay back but was said to have managed to earn enough to do so and send money home to her family.
Whilst there she became friends with the man tried for her murder and they were often seen together laughing and joking.
On the day of her murder she had planned to go to a Leicester Square bar with the two Russian sisters but instead decided to stay at home and watch TV because she had a hangover from the night before. At the time they left her at home she was wearing her bathrobe.
The man that was tried for her murder said that he saw the second man talking to Oxana Rodionova and that he later saw her dead on the floor. He said that he felt sick and said that he feared that the man would kill him next as he was a witness and that he didn't want to continue with the burglary and didn't take anything. He said that he then urged the man to leave the flat with him.
Neighbours said that they had heard shouting and doors being opened and slammed between 10.41pm and 11pm.
Oxana Rodionova was found dead in the early hours of the next day by the flatmates at 1am on 9 March 2003. They broke down the door and found her dead, face down on the floor wearing black boots, blue jeans and a jumper. They said that her face was so bruised that it was hard to recognise her.
Her post-mortem stated that she had a ligature mark around her neck with bruising and grazing and that she had injuries to her head and limbs and that she had been hit in the face. Her cause of death was given as asphyxia as a result of compression of the neck by a ligature being placed around the front of the neck.
The man that was tried for her murder said, 'Well we went there, we were going to rob her but it went too far.'.
The police initially thought that her death had been related to a simmering turf war for control of the lucrative vice trade involving Russians and Albanians.