The boyfriend of a 19-year-old Indian-origin student has admitted to killing her last year at her university accommodation in London, but denied any intent to commit murder, media reports said.
Maher Maaroufe, 23, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Sabita Thanwani, who was found with serious injuries to her neck at Arbour House student flats in Clerkenwell area of London on March 19, 2022.
Appearing at the Old Bailey via video link from Broadmoor hospital on Friday, Maaroufe, of no fixed address, also pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating an emergency worker.
The prosecution indicated that the plea was acceptable to the Crown and Maaroufe will not face trial for her murder, the Evening Standard reported.
The plea was entered on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Last year in March, emergency services were alerted early in the morning after a neighbour heard screams coming from Thanwani’s room. Police saw blood stains around the bed, as well as blankets and duvets on the floor of Thanwani’s room. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 6 a.m., and a post-mortem examination gave her cause of death as sharp force trauma to the neck.
According to The Standard, the attacker had tried to get into another room before leaving the building in Sebastian Street, in Clerkenwell. Maaroufe was found by police asleep under a tarpaulin in a garden shed, and allegedly head-butted a police officer while trying to evade arrest.
After his plea hearing, the court remanded him back into custody, adjourning his sentencing at Old Bailey in September.
Sabita Thanwani’s family, in a statement released at the time of her death, described her as “our angel” and said she had a “radiant smile and incredible heart”.