25 November, 2008

Man Jailed for Hannah Murder

A SEX beast has been sentenced to life in jail today for killing brilliant A-level student Hannah Foster.

Maninder Pal Singh Kohli was convicted at Winchester Crown Court of Hannah's murder, rape, false imprisonment and kidnap in March 2003.

Evil Kohli snatched the 17-year-old from a street just yards from her home in Southampton after she spent a night out with friends.
Hannah had been celebrating getting four predicted A grades in her exams.

The terrified teenager – who wanted to be a doctor – called 999 hoping an operator would hear what was happening but the call was terminated when she did not speak.

Sixteen-stone Kohli took her to a secluded spot where he repeatedly raped slightly-built Hannah in his sandwich delivery van.
Kohli then strangling her when he feared she might identify him.

Hannah's body was dumped beside a road in West End, Hampshire, before her attacker went back home to his wife and two sons.
Four days later, he fled to India as the police net closed in on him.

After years of campaigning by Hannah’s parents Hilary and Trevor Foster, Kohli was finally extradited back to Britain last year to stand trial.

Kohli shook his head only slightly but showed no other emotion as the four unanimous verdicts were delivered.

Hearing the guilty verdict on the first count of murder, Hannah’s sister Sarah and her mother sobbed and hugged each other while Hannah’s father helped comfort them.

Speaking outside the court, Mr and Mrs Foster paid tribute to their murdered daughter describing their “overwhelming sense of relief” at today’s verdict and saying they had “waited six years for this moment”.

Mr Foster said Kohli had shown “not one iota of remorse for his actions”, adding: “Today finally justice has caught up with him."

He thanked the police for their hard work throughout the investigation and the jury for their verdict.
"We have done everything we can in pursuit of justice for Hannah," he said.

Mr Foster added: “The guilty verdict is the culmination of a long but emotional journey, not just for Hilary, Sarah and myself, and not just for our immediate family, close friends and all the people who knew and loved Hannah.

"But also for everyone in the local community who has supported us in so many ways and shown us such kindness through the long ordeal.”

The jury took five-and-a-half hours to reach its decision and the judge, Mr Justice Keith, adjourned the case for ten minutes so everyone in court could regain their composure.

Kohli, dressed in a grey suit and blue shirt and flanked by three security guards, was taken from the court. When he returned he was told he would serve a minimum of 24 years.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by Hannah’s aunt Gill Lewis, Hannah’s mother Hilary said she would feel guilt for the rest of her life that she was not there to protect her daughter when she was murdered.

She said of her daughter’s murderer: “Kohli ripped out my heart and stamped on it.”
Mrs Foster also described the moment she saw Hannah’s body in the mortuary.

She said: “When Trevor and I saw Hannah in the mortuary, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, there must be some mistake.
“The cold, battered and bruised body certainly looked like her, but where was the sparkle in her eyes?”

Mrs Foster also wrote in the statement: “Our lives have revolved around our two girls, their wellbeing, personal interests and hopes for the future.
“On March 14 2003, our lives changed forever.”

Detective Sergeant Alan Betts, who led the operation to hunt down Kohli, later said the six year wait for justice had been a "frustrating process".

He also paid tribute to Hannah's family, the Indian authorities and the work of Hampshire Constabulary for their cooperation and determination in making it happen.

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