Tunisian National Confined To Psychiatric Hospital For Killing Indian-Origin Student In London

Tunisian National Confined To Psychiatric Hospital For Killing Indian-Origin Student In London

A Tunisian national has been indefinitely confined to a psychiatric hospital for the killing and near beheading of a 19-year-old Indian-origin student at her university accommodation in London in 2022

Siksha MUpdated: Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 07:03 PM IST
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Tunisian National Confined To Psychiatric Hospital For Killing Indian-Origin Student In London | Representational Image

A Tunisian national has been indefinitely confined to a psychiatric hospital for the killing and near beheading of a 19-year-old Indian-origin student at her university accommodation in London in 2022, according to a report by IANS.

Maher Maaroufe, 24, fatally stabbed his girlfriend, Sabita Thanwani, an aspiring psychologist, in the neck at Arbour House student flats in the Clerkenwell area of London on March 19, 2022.

Having previously admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility due to suffering from schizoaffective disorder, Maaroufe also pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker.

While delivering the sentencing on Monday, Judge Nigel Lickley KC stated that Maaroufe carried out the attack during the "height" of a psychotic episode. The court heard that Maaroufe had been "aggressive" and "controlling" towards Thanwani during their relationship and may have hit her at least once, possibly linked to his "emerging illness."

Maaroufe entered the UK legally but overstayed

"Sabita had her whole life ahead of her. You ended her life. Your actions will continue to cause enduring pain and suffering," Judge Lickley told Maaroufe.

The Old Bailey learned that Maaroufe, who had entered the UK legally but overstayed, was in the process of claiming asylum at the time of the incident. During psychotic episodes, Maaroufe believed Thanwani was a "male devil" while smoking cannabis.

On the evening before the attack, the couple met outside a mosque and spent time in central London. After returning to Thanwani's accommodation, witnesses heard her shouting for help, leading to emergency services being alerted.

Thanwani pronounced dead at the scene

Upon police arrival, blood stains were discovered in Thanwani's room, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Maaroufe was found by police hiding in a garden shed, and during the arrest, he allegedly head-butted a police officer.

In a statement released at the time of Thanwani's death, her family described her as their "angel" with a "radiant smile and incredible heart." They characterized Maaroufe as an "evil, sadistic murderer" whose actions were calculated due to her rejection.

With inputs from agencies

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