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Life sentence for au-pair murder
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Life sentence for au-pair murder

The Local · 15 Jun 2016, 23:39

Published: 15 Jun 2016 23:39 GMT+02:00

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The 24-year-old defendant, a failed asylum seeker from Gambia, had insisted he was innocent. But the jury unanimously found him guilty of murder, and he has been jailed for life for suffocating Lauren Mann to death in her flat in Vienna in January.

Passing sentence the judge in the case Ulrich Nachtlberger said: "In a case like this, after all we have heard only the very highest punishment is appropriate."

He said that the accused had "shamelessly abused the caring nature and trust" of his 25-year-old victim, and then lied about what he had done in order to escape the punishment.

He said that his motives for killing her were nothing other than of the "lowest possible order".

The young woman had offered Abdou I., whose full name was not disclosed due to local privacy laws, a place to stay after he was threatened with deportation by authorities.

The two of them had allegedly started a sexual relationship a short while later.

The day before she was killed, Abdou I. allegedly found her after a party in her flat lying next to a teenager from Afghanistan. According to DNA evidence, Mann had had sexual contact with both men.

Prosecutors believe he was driven by jealousy to carry out the murder the next day.

Mann's body was found by firemen who broke down the door to her flat after her employee realised the normally reliable nanny had not picked up her child from school.

Her half-undressed body was found in her flat surrounded by candles face down on a mattress.

Forensic experts say she was forcibly suffocated while having sex, by a pillow that was pressed into her face.

After the murder, prosecutors believe the Gambian tried and failed to set fire to pieces of clothes in the bathroom, then took some valuables and fled to Switzerland.

He was picked up nine days after her body was discovered at a Swiss refugee home and was eventually deported back to Austria in early April.

Story continues below…

Abdou I. denied the accusations but as well as the DNA tests that showed his sperm was left on her body shortly before her death, there was also mobile phone evidence that showed despite denying that he was in Vienna when she was killed - he had been travelling around the city with her mobile phone.

He had insisted that he was either in Switzerland or Milan at the time of the murder but could not remember exactly which one.

His lawyer Astrid Wagner has said they plan to appeal the verdict. In Austria, a life sentence typically last arounds 21 years before a person becomes eligible for parole.

Story courtesy of Central European News

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