London: Tunisian boyfriend found guilty in Indian-origin student’s murder

A Tunisian man who had been charged with the murder of Indian-origin student Sabita Thanwani at her university accommodation in the Clerkenwell area of north London in March last year has admitted to her killing in court. 

Maher Maaroufe, 23, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility during a hearing at the Old Bailey court in London on Friday and will be sentenced in September. 

The court heard how Thanwani, 19, was found under the sheets with a cut to her throat on March 19 last year. 

According to court reports, the prosecution described how Maaroufe and  Thanwani had been in a relationship prior to the morning of the killing. They were at the student accommodation when a neighbor overheard various noises and screams coming from the room and called emergency services. 

A post-mortem examination gave Thanwani’s cause of death as sharp force trauma to the neck. 

Before the police arrived at the scene of the killing, the suspect had left the building but as he did so he was seen by officers wearing a balaclava, the court was told. 

The Metropolitan Police had issued an urgent manhunt for Maaroufe and charged him days later. 

Maaroufe also pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by beating an emergency worker for head-butting a police officer during his arrest last year. In court, he was assisted by an Arabic interpreter and was remanded back into custody. 

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