45-year sentence for Sydney man who raped, killed student

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 May, 2013, 5:07am


An Australian man who raped and strangled his Indian student neighbour and threw her body into a canal in a suitcase was jailed yesterday for 45 years for the "horrifying" murder.

Daniel Stani-Reginald, 21, had plotted to rape and murder a woman for years before choosing Tosha Thakkar, a 24-year-old accounting student who lived in an adjoining room at his Sydney boarding house, the Supreme Court heard.

He read thousands of internet articles on serial killers and sex attackers before assaulting Thakkar in March 2011 and strangling her with a cable.

Judge Derek Price said: "This was a terrible way … to die."

Stani-Reginald, who pleaded guilty, stuffed her body in a suitcase, took a taxi to a nearby canal and tossed it into the water in broad daylight. He had shown no remorse and had poor prospects of rehabilitation, the judge said.

His father had murdered his mother in his presence when he was 10, but psychiatrists found no evidence of mental illness.

Price jailed Stani-Reginald, of Sri Lankan descent, for a maximum 45 years, 30 to be served without possibility of parole.