Tuesday, November 25, 2008
A man has been jailed for life for the murder, rape and kidnap of 17-year-old Hannah Foster
Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, 41, who denied all the charges, was convicted more than five years after Hannah was found strangled. She had been walking a short distance home after a night out in Southampton when she went missing on 14 March 2003. Her body was found two days later. Her father, Trevor Foster, called Kohli a cold, calculating and ruthless man. "Today we are feeling an overwhelming sense of relief at the verdict in this trial," he added. "We have long realised that Kohli is a cold, calculating and totally ruthless man and has destroyed so many people's life without a second thought." Kohli snatched the teenager from a street yards from her home in Southampton after she had spent an evening with friends. The A-level student called 999 in the hope an operator would hear what was happening, but the call was terminated when she did not speak. Kohli dumped her body next to a road in Allington Lane, West End, and went back home to his wife and two sons. Four days later, he fled to India, where he led a life on the run for 16 months before being arrested. While in custody in India he gave a televised confession which he later retracted. After more than four years of campaigning by Hannah's parents Hilary and Trevor Foster, Kohli was finally extradited back to Britain in 2007 to stand trial. In a victim impact statement read to the court by Hannah's aunt Jill 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. "Kohli ripped out my heart and stamped on it," she said.