Police name student murdered at her university accommodation

Police have arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with the case

Sunday, 20th March — By Anna Lamche


Police have established a cordon around Arbour House.

A young woman murdered at her student accommodation this weekend has been named by police.

Nineteen-year-old Sabita Thanwani was a resident at Arbour House, Clerkenwell, a student accommodation block run by Unite Students. 

It is believed Ms Thanwani was a student at the nearby City University.

Police were called to the student halls, on Sebastian Street, at around 5.10 am on Saturday morning, where they found Ms Thanwani had sustained serious injuries.

Sabita Thanwani Clerkenwell

Sabita Thanwani

Despite the best efforts of the emergency services to save Ms Thanwani, she was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Although formal identification is yet to take place, Ms Thanwani’s family has been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

Police arrested 22-year-old Maher Maaroufe in connection to the murder on Sunday afternoon, who had been in a relationship with Ms Thanwani. He was arrested in the Clerkenwell area on suspicion of murder and assault and remains in police custody.

Maher Maaroufe

Police have arrested Maher Maaroufe

Officers have cordoned off the entrance of the student halls, although residents are free to come and go. Bunches of flowers have been left by the entrance to the block. 

“We had police and detectives in here all day,” said Rachel, a third-year student at City and a barista at a local café, Jimmy and the Bee. “Things like this really make you wonder who you can trust,” she added.

“I’ve heard lots of people have had to stay in the block – especially foreign students who have nowhere else to go,” she said.

Detective Chief Inspector Linda Bradley, who leads the investigation, said: “I would like to thank everyone for publicising and sharing our appeal to trace Maaroufe.

“Sabita’s family have been updated with this development and continue to be supported by specially trained officers. Our deepest condolences are with them.

“I would ask everyone to respect their privacy at this indescribably devastating time for them as they come to terms with Sabita’s murder.”

A City University spokesperson 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 Arbour House.”

Anyone with information that could assist police is asked to call 101. You can also provide information anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers, online or by calling 0800 555 111.


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