Wales

Sammy Almahri admits Nadine Aburas Cardiff hotel murder

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Media captionDet Con Jennifer Coleman read a statement on behalf of Nadine Aburas's family

A "jealous" American has admitted murdering a woman in a Cardiff Bay hotel.

Sammy Almahri, 45, pleaded guilty to murdering Nadine Aburas, 28, at the Future Inn on New Year's Eve 2014.

He initially admitted manslaughter but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but changed his plea at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday.

The court heard he killed her because the "voice of God" told him to.

Almahri's trial heard the hotel door was locked with a "do not disturb" sign on the handle before Ms Aburas's body was discovered in room 203.

He left in her car and travelled to Heathrow airport before flying to Qatar - he was eventually found in Tanzania and arrested.

A post mortem examination found Ms Aburas's body and face had 17 marks, abrasions and bruises, including a bite mark on her forearm. Pressure had been applied to her neck and face.

Roger Thomas QC, prosecuting, told the court: "He deliberately strangled her, fled the scene and left the country to avoid the consequences of his own actions."

Ms Aburas met Almahri on internet dating site, MuslimMatch.com, in 2012.

Because he lived in the United States, their relationship developed through phone calls and Skype and he visited Cardiff two or three times in 2013.

The court heard Almahri became "besotted" by Ms Aburas, showering her with money and expensive presents.

"He paid for mobile phones and a car. She was living off jobseekers allowance," said Mr Thomas.

"There's no doubt the financial benefits were attractive to her."

In the summer of 2014, Ms Aburas visited him in New York and the friendship developed into an intimate relationship.

However, things soured when Almahri discovered she had been seeing another man, the court heard.

Jurors were told when Ms Aburas returned from a visit to New York she had an injured lip and it appeared she had been attacked.

She told police Almahri raped her while she was in America and feared he was going to show topless photos of her to her family.

He sent her abusive texts and messages with Ms Aburas's brothers warning him off and one telling him to "stay away from my sister".

One voice message said: "I have been calling you a lot. I will never ever stop now or give up. I will harm you."

Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Almahri on CCTV at the Future Inn the day before Ms Aburas's body was found

The jury was told Almahri had a dissocial personality disorder which meant he had "low tolerance to frustration and a discharge of aggression, including violence".

He jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge in August 2009 and was put on an alcohol treatment programme as a result.

The court heard the pair were seen shouting and arguing at the Lilo Grill House on City Road before they went to the Future Inn, where Almahri was staying, on the night before Ms Aburas's death.

She was captured on CCTV at about 23:15 BST - the last time she was seen alive.

The prosecution said Almahri drank a bottle of gin and 12 shots of tequila before luring her to the hotel.

He strangled her, washed her body, placed her hands together and faked a suicide note pretending to be from her which read: "Sorry we came to an end."

Following the plea, Ms Aburas's mother Andrea said: "Justice has been done for Nadine, the right verdict has been returned.

"We wish to thank everyone who has assisted us throughout this tragic period in our lives. We ask now that we are given time to grieve and remember our beautiful girl."

Almahri will be sentenced on 3 November.

Image copyright Wales News Service

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