Monday, December 11

Police name woman killed in London student flat and seek 22-year-old man | crime

A young woman who was killed in a student flat in London over the weekend has been named by police as 19-year-old Sabita Thanwani.

Police were called to an accommodation block in Clerkenwell for students at City, University of London at 5.10am on Saturday after emergency services received reports of an injured woman.

Officers and the London ambulance service attended and found Thanwani suffering from serious injuries. They attempted to revive her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene at Arbor House, Sebastian Street.

Thanwani’s family have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers. A special post-mortem examination will be arranged in due course, police said.

Sabita Thanwani

Detectives said they are looking for Maher Maaroufe, 22, a Tunisian national who is known to travel and has links across London. The Metropolitan police said anyone who sees Maaroufe should not approach him and call 999 immediately.

No arrests have been made and detectives from the Met’s specialist crime command are leading the investigation.

DCI Linda Bradley from the unit said: “I am reiterating our urgent appeal for information to trace 22-year-old Maher Maaroufe. He has links across London, particularly in the Marble Arch, Edgware Road and Lewisham areas. He is also known to travel to Cambridgeshire.”

One of the police images released shows Maaroufe with dark hair and a mustache and beard. They said he has now shaved his head and has little facial hair.

“Maaroufe had been in a relationship with Sabita but he was not a student,” Bradley said. “He is a Tunisian national of no fixed address.

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“Officers are making inquiries to trace those who had contact with him, but I would ask anyone who knew him who has yet to speak with police to please get in touch.

“I am also appealing, once again, for Maher Maaroufe to attend a police station immediately. Maher – I am making this appeal directly to you: if you see this, please go to the nearest police station. It is important that we speak with you.”

The front of Arbor House, a multi-storey block, was taped off and a section of nearby Goswell Road was closed to traffic on Saturday.

Ana, 20, an international student and resident at Arbor House, was in the building when the police arrived.

“It has made me feel really uncomfortable and reminded me that we have to take extra precautions, especially as she was a woman around my age,” she said.

“Seeing the police was scary at the beginning. We heard all the banging, the police raiding rooms to investigate on the fifth floor. I don’t actually know where they found her, but they were coming into our rooms.

“But now it feels a lot safer to have them around while they investigate.”

A spokesperson for Unite Students, which runs Arbor House, said: “As this remains an ongoing police incident, we are unable to comment on their investigation.

“Our priority at this time is the safety and wellbeing of students at Arbor House. We are working closely with the police and City, University of London.”

A spokesperson for City, University of London said: “As a university, we will do everything we can to support our students and staff and we will continue to fully support the police with their investigation. We are working closely with Unite Students who own and operate Arbor House.”

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