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Apr 29, 2013 at 07:00pm IST

Australian faces life sentence for raping, killing Indian student

Melbourne: Australian prosecutors on Monday demanded life sentence for a 21-year-old man, who has pleaded guilty of raping and killing Indian student Tosha Thakkar in 2011 before stuffing her in a suitcase and dumping it in a canal.

The Sydney based Supreme Court on Monday heard that accused, Daniel Stani-Reginald, who lived next door had been planning his "cold and calculated" crime well before he raped the 24-year-old Thakkar.

Daniel then stuffed Thakkar's body in a suitcase, dumped it in a canal and went home to read an article called Beginnings of a Serial Killer, it was told. Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi has urged Justice Derek Price to impose a life sentence on Daniel, saying he was capable of seeking notoriety as a serial killer, the AAP news agency reported.

Australian faces life sentence for raping, killing Indian student

Daniel has pleaded guilty for raping and murdering Thakkar on March 9, 2011. Her body was discovered 2 days later.

He said while other young men his age were going to college or learning a trade, Daniel "made a deliberate decision to school himself on how to become a serial rapist and murderer".

"In the three months before he raped and strangled Thakkar in the Croydon unit where she lived next door to him, he had viewed about 9,500 disturbing internet articles and websites on serial killers and notorious rapists", the report said

adding the accused also looked up articles on infamous Australian cases like that of Dean Shillingsworth, the murdered toddler whose body was dumped in a suitcase.

He read judgments on the sentences of notorious killers and viewed pornography relating to the "degradation of Indian women" on the morning he murdered Thakkar, the court heard. After killing Thakkar, Daniel had called a cab, transported her body to the canal in the suitcase and then gone to a shopping centre. He continued his internet searches of serial killers even as police were milling around outside his unit and had a casual conversation with Thakkar's boyfriend that day, the court heard.

"There's not the slightest suggestion he was horrified by what he had done," Tedeschi said, adding that Daniel has still shown no remorse. "The community would be justifiably aggrieved if he were to receive a sentence less than life imprisonment," Tedeschi said.

Daniel has pleaded guilty for raping and murdering Thakkar on March 9, 2011. Her body was discovered by construction workers two days later.

Thakkar's parents are in Australia for his sentence hearing. The family of the victim told the court hearing about their pain of losing their only daughter and sister. She was like a sweet little fairy "who brought peace and happiness to all of us and a lot of blessings", they said.

"She used to take care of everyone with great love and care. She wanted to help a lot of people". Thakkar's younger brother Dishang said he still found it difficult to accept that his sister was gone.

"I cannot express the pain that I feel all the time, it's invisible," he wrote in his victim impact statement. Thakkar was living in Sydney and studying accounting.

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