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Bear with me; there's a reason why I'm highlighting this unpleasant story.
A man has been convicted of murdering a Nepalese student and dismembering her body with a meat cleaver in Glasgow. He was also convicted of attempting to defeat the ends of justice and extort cash and a TV from Mrs Shah's husband.

He denied any involvement throughout the trial and claimed to have been framed. But a jury at the High Court in Glasgow did not believe him and convicted him unanimously of the murder.

During the trial, the court heard how Dantis met Mrs Shah's husband, Nagendra, in 2008 when they started a business masters degree at Strathclyde University. The jury was told that he became increasingly jealous of his friend's more affluent lifestyle and formed a plan to kill Mrs Shah and extort £120,000 from her husband. [BBC]
The exact motive for Dantis’s horrific murder/dismemberment/extortion/TV plot may never be known (incidentally, that’s got to be one hell of a TV set for it to feature in that list, hasn’t it?), but his story in court will always be a matter of public record to be marvelled at by all students of unwise defences:
Mr Dantis said he had been at his flat in the city’s Garthland Drive, Dennistoun, when he allowed access to a man he thought was coming to check his meter. He told the jury this “English-Asian” man had a gun and told him to be quiet.

He claimed the man handed him photographs of Dantis and his wife Astrid before ordering him to go to the Shahs’ home in Coventry Drive and “clean it up” after “things had not gone as expected”. Mr Dantis said he agreed to the demands and told Mr Findlay he did not call police as he was frightened. When he got there—after taking a cab in the name of “Abdul”—he claimed there were signs of disturbance and blood, but no-one was home.

Mr Dantis said he found a blue holdall bag, the type which Mrs Shah’s body was later found dumped in near her home. He told the jury: “I had no idea (what was inside), but it appeared to be a bit heavy.” He moved it outside the flat as requested and also bagged other items, including a broken phone and torn shower curtain, which were to be thrown away.

Mr Findlay asked Dantis: “So you went round to the scene of a murder and to some extent cleaned it up. You removed from the home the headless and handless corpse of the wife of your friend?”

Weeping, Mr Dantis replied: “I did not know at that time what I was doing. This is something that should not have happened. The fact that I did not go to the police and not tell them just feels so wrong.” Mr Dantis claimed the scar-faced gunman appeared at his university days later and again threatened him not to say anything.

Under questioning from Mr Findlay, he later said he believed he had been framed for the murder… Mr Dantis also denied claims that he was behind “ransom” text messages to Mrs Shah’s husband after she disappeared. [BBC]
Never mind that the “mysterious stranger” defence rarely works in any circumstances (when I used it, in a much less serious situation, I at least had the excuse of being 17 and drunk). What appears to have helped sink Dantis’s case was the investigative work done on his laptop hard drive that revealed a costed list of items that included a meat cleaver, a balaclava, bleach, a knife and DIY tape, and a set of instructions labelled “chain of events” that included “change to other clothes”, “wait in room” and “finish the job”.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 12th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
Note to self: slaughter friend's wife.
People. They are mental. This never surprising to me. What is surprising - every single time - is that they're also incredibly stupid.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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