A man has been found guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend, who he strangled and buried in a flower bed at her south-west London home.
Film producer Laureline Garcia-Bertaux was found naked and wrapped in bin bags in a shallow grave in her Kew garden.
Kirill Belorusov, 32, denied murder but was found guilty at the Old Bailey and will be sentenced on Friday.
He was arrested in Estonia under a European arrest warrant and brought back to the UK to face trial.
Prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said: “The last few minutes of Ms Garcia-Bertaux’s life must have been truly terrifying as this defendant squeezed the very life out of her and as she struggled for her final breath, there must have been a moment of terrible clarity when she realised that the man she cared for was a liar, a cheat and a killer.”
The court heard Belorusov owed the 34-year-old victim thousands of pounds and avoided paying her back by pretending to have cancer.
There was no record of him receiving treatment at hospitals in London.
Ms Garcia-Bertaux was reported missing by worried friends when she failed to turn up to work at PR firm Golin, where she was an executive assistant.
She also worked as a television and film producer and had worked with Dame Joan Collins on the 2018 short film Gerry.
The court heard in a bid to cover his tracks, Belorusov sent text messages from her phone to her friends saying she was planning a party and a “boob job”.
Belorusov worked in bars and nightclubs and claimed to have been a stuntman on the Brad Pitt film World War Z but the online IMDb film database listing -which included 148 people under the heading “stunts” – did not feature his name.
Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC said: “I’m entirely satisfied the defendant is not someone who believes the lies he tells.
“He just tells them on a scale and magnitude which I have not encountered before.
“I do not believe he has ever had cancer. I’m entirely sure of that.”