Family of Andhra student murdered in Britain welcomes verdict

December 18th, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Dec 18 (IANS) The family of an Indian student murdered in Britain has hailed the Birmingham court verdict sentencing her murderer, a fellow Indian student, to life imprisonment.Jyothirmai Vempala’s family in Andhra Pradesh’s Vijayawada town is relieved that Nagaraja Kumar Nalluri was awarded punishment after a speedy trial.

“We have lost our daughter but we are satisfied that the guilty has been brought to book. He deserved this punishment,” said Jyothirmayi’s father Naga Saibaba, reacting to the verdict.

“Our faith in God and judiciary has been vindicated,” he added.

Saibaba, who returned from Birmingham Tuesday after attending the court hearing, thanked the Birmingham police and the courts for punishing the culprit.

“We are happy over the speedy disposal of the case. The guilty has been sentenced in a few months,” he said.

The court sentenced Kumar to life imprisonment. The judge declared that he must serve a minimum of 25 years before being considered for parole.

Jyothirmai, 23, a student of Wolverhampton University, was found murdered on May 6 in her apartment in Handsworth, a suburb of Birmingham. Kumar, a native of Hyderabad and a student of the same university, was found in an injured condition in the same apartment they were sharing with another Indian student.

Kumar, 25, had claimed that a masked intruder had attacked them. However, the police grew suspicious as he had written “I love you” with his blood on the window pane.

When questioned about this, he tried to mislead the police by claiming that he begged the intruder to spare Jyothirmai and had been forced to declare his love for her by writing with his blood.

The investigations, however, revealed that Kumar, who was angry about being rebuffed by Jyothirmayi, struck her on her head repeatedly with a dumbbell. He then tried to sexually assault her and took her pictures. He also inflicted injuries on himself, in order to mislead the police.

“On the evidence before the jury you struck her at least 12 times to the head. Undoubtedly many more blows were struck against her,” said Judge Melbourne Inman, while delivering the verdict.

The judge said Kumar’s attempt to sexually assault her and taking her pictures increased the depravity of the killing.

Jyothirmai had gone to Britain in September last year to pursue a Master of Public Health course. She was sharing an apartment with Kumar and another student from the state.

Kumar was her senior. Both were friends and had studied together here before leaving for Britain.

Kumar’s parents or other family members, who had been claiming that he was innocent, were not available for comment.

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