• Friday, December 01, 2023


Sabita Thanwani: Boyfriend pleads guilty to manslaughter

Thanwani, 19, was found dead in Clerkenwell in March last year

Sabita Thanwani (Photo: Met Police)

By: Pramod Thomas

THE boyfriend of City University student Sabita Thanwani has accepted responsibility for the death of 19-year-old but denied any intent to commit murder, reports said.

Maher Maaroufe, 23, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Thanwani at her university accommodation in central London during a hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday (30).

According to the prosecution, the Crown accepted the guilty plea and Maaroufe will not be tried for the murder of the victim.

The plea was made based on the argument of diminished responsibility, reported The Times. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating an emergency worker.

Psychology student Thanwani was found under a duvet and sheets with a cut to her throat in Clerkenwell on 19 March 2022.

According to reports, a neighbour alerted emergency services after hearing screams coming from Thanwani’s room.

“The victim was asking for help and saying she thought the defendant was going to kill her,” the prosecutor said.

Reports said that the attacker attempted to enter another room before departing the building in Sebastian Street, Clerkenwell.

Subsequent analysis of the CCTV footage revealed that the accused had leaped over a fence and entered Joseph Trotter Close at 5 am.

Maaroufe was found by the police sleeping under a tarpaulin inside a garden shed. During his arrest, he reportedly assaulted a police officer by head-butting them, the court heard.

Police found Thanwani lying under blankets and a duvet on the floor with a serious neck injury. Sadly, she was pronounced dead at the scene at 6 am.

A post-mortem examination later revealed that the cause of death was sharp force trauma to the neck.

Earlier, Thanwani’s family described her as “our angel” and said she had a “radiant smile and incredible heart”.

“Sabita was the most caring and loving person we have ever known. She inspired us every day of her precious 19 years of life. Her mission was to help everyone,” the family said in a statement.

On 21 March, when charged, Maaroufe denied the accusation by stating that she did not die. For the plea hearing on Friday, he appeared at the Old Bailey via video link from Broadmoor hospital.

In court, the family of Thanwani was present, and the sentencing was postponed to September.

Eastern Eye

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