A car wash worker accused of attempting to murder a pregnant woman in Aberfan had previously stalked her and “filmed her for TikTok videos”, a court heard.
Daniel Mihai Popescu, who is also accused of witness intimidation, allegedly attacked 37-week pregnant Andreea Pintilli in the village of Aberfan, South Wales.
Mother-of-two Ms Pintilli, 29, was stabbed repeatedly outside her home at 9.10am on Tuesday and was saved when neighbours heard her screams and ran to help.
During the assault, Ms Pintilli rolled over on to her front to protect her unborn baby, who was unharmed in the attack. The baby, a boy, is due on December 22.
A six-hour hunt by armed police ensued which put schools and public buildings into lockdown.
On Thursday, Popescu, 28, dressed in a grey prison-issue tracksuit, wiped away tears during a five-minute hearing at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court.
Through an interpreter, the Romanian spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth as the three charges were put to him.
He is accused of attempting to murder Ms Pintilli on December 5 at Coronation Place, Aberfan, and knowing she was a witness, attacking her intending to intimidate her, thereby perverting the course of justice.
Popescu is also charged with stalking Ms Pintilli and harassing her by following her to places, calling her from withheld numbers, sitting outside her address and videoing her before putting it on TikTok.
No application for bail
Matthew Thomas, defending, made no application for bail. Popescu, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody and will appear before Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on January 4.
District Judge Neale Thomas told him: “The first of the allegations can only be dealt with in the Crown Court. It makes sense for the other two allegations to go to the Crown Court as well.
“You will be remanded in custody to go before the Crown Court judge.”
Supermarket worker Ms Pintilli, also a Romanian, has been released from hospital after treatment for her injuries.
Colleagues described her as a “lovely person” and said they would be caring for her in the coming weeks because she had no relatives in the UK.
South Wales Police reassured locals who were advised to stay in their homes while they conducted their hunt after the stabbing.
Chief Inspector Rob Miles said following the attack: “I appreciate there will be a real sense of shock within the local community with the attack having happened in broad daylight.”