International fugitive convicted of murdering teen in UK

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, a 41-year-old sandwich delivery driver, was convicted today at Winchester Crown Court in Hampshire, United Kingdom for the murder and rape of teenager Hannah Foster. The 17-year-old girl was walking home from a night out in Southampton on March 14, 2003, but never returned home. Her body was found two days later, on Allington Lane in West End, a village just outside the city.

Map showing location of Hampshire

According to court records, Hannah had spent the evening with friends just a short distance from the family home in Portswood and was snatched by Kohli just yards away from her house. She was able to call 999, the emergency services line, hoping that the operator would hear what was happening. However, with nobody actually on the line an automatic system led the call to be terminated. After dumping her body, Kohli went home to his wife and children, before fleeing to India four days later. Kohli spent sixteen months running from authorities, during which he remarried. Eventually he was arrested in a joint operation between Hampshire Constabulary and Indian police. Shortly thereafter, he gave, then retracted, a televised confession of the murder.

Kohli remained in custody in India while Hilary and Trevor Foster, the victim's parents, campaigned for his extradition to the UK to face trial. The campaign was eventually successful and Kohli arrived in Britain in 2007. He has been sentenced to life imprisonment and will serve a minimum of 24 years.

"Today we are feeling an overwhelming sense of relief at the verdict in this trial," said Trevor Foster in a statement to the press. "We have long realised that Kohli is a cold, calculating and totally ruthless man."


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