Man jailed for life for partner's murder
Published: 30 Nov 2012 16:30
A MAN who showed "no remorse" after brutally bludgeoning his partner to death has been sentenced to life behind bars.
Muhammad Shafi was found guilty of murdering 43-year-old Tuanja Sprengel by a jury at Reading Crown Court today (Friday) after attacking her in an underpass in the early hours of Sunday, May 27.
The 28-year-old from Basemoors, in Bullbrook, denied the charge but - according to senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Steve Tolmie - he has now been "brought to justice".
During his murder trial, the court heard Shafi attacked Miss Sprengel in an underpass off Bay Drive, Bullbrook, with a pair of metal shears.
Shafi was sentenced to a minimum of 23 years behind bars.
Afterwards, Det Ch Insp Steve Tolmie said: "I would like to thank the witnesses for attending court and providing the evidence that convicted this dangerous killer. He stabbed her in the neck before savagely beating Tuanjai with a heavy pair of cutters on at least nine occasions.
"She was struck with considerable force across the back of her head causing some horrific lacerations.
"He told police that he deeply regretted what had happened and that he loved Tuanjai very much. Yet, according to evidence from his friends, Tuanjai was still breathing when Shafi left her to die in the underpass.
"When confronted by Police at an early stage in the investigation he did not offer any explanation and made out that he knew nothing of her murder.
"This was a very violent and pointless death. Shafi has shown no remorse or emotion from the time of his arrest, throughout the extensive interviewing at the police station and during this trial. There were a few 'crocodile tears' from the witness box but these were of self pity."
Police say Shafi, a Pakistani national, entered the UK under a student visa which expired in February 2012. He and Miss Sprengel appear to have undertaken an Islamic marriage ceremony in January 2012 but Miss Sprengel's divorce from a German man was not final. She had a 15-year-old son with her estranged husband.
Police said it appeared that Shafi was attempting to use his relationship with Tuanjai to remain in the UK but at the time of her death she was still legally married to her German husband.
The trial had heard the couple had argued the night before after losing about £1,000 on the roulette machines at Ladbrokes in Bracknell High Street.
Shafi had told the court that Sprengel had called him gay but had a memory loss after that, and could not remember repeatedly hitting her.
Tuanjai 's battered body was found in the underpass at 8am on the Sunday by a man who was cycling home from work on a night shift.