Story By: Kathryn Quinn, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
A teenager convicted of stabbing his 16-year-old girlfriend to death in her bedroom has appealed his sentence.
Saber Akhondzada, 18, was sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison for murdering 16-year-old Michelle F., after she was found stabbed to death in her bedroom in December last year.
Akhondzada, an Afghan asylum seeker, handed himself in to cops after having tried to have a fake identity card made.
However, the criminal contact he spoke with had seen that there was a search for the teenager on social media and the forger had made it clear that he should either hand himself in, or be handed in.
Akhondzada handed himself in after seeing his picture all over the Vienna newspapers and was immediately transferred to the Upper Austrian state capital of Linz, where he was interrogated for two days over the murder of the 16-year-old Austrian schoolgirl, identified only by the name Michelle F.
This week the court in Steyr, a city located in the Austrian federal state of Upper Austria found him guilty but his lawyer announced that they will appeal for the sentence to be quashed.
Saber Akhondzada, who was 17 when the incident occurred, remained silent in court, but audio clips from his mobile phone and the victim’s mobile phone were played to the court.
One clip played in court was from the afternoon of the killing and in which both the killer and his victim could be heard. In the clip, the court heard the 16-year-old saying she wanted to break up with him. She was heard saying: “I have hated you for so long.”
In further clips from 9:30pm on the day Michelle was murdered, Akhondzada could be heard saying in tears “I have murdered someone.” and “God will not forgive me”, as well as “I am sorry”.
As this was played in court he dropped his head but did not comment.
Akhondzada had previously said that Michelle’s death was an accident and that he was drunk at the time. He claimed he asked his girlfriend to give him the knife as she needed to change a bandage on her foot. He claims he became dizzy and fell, stabbing her with the knife.
According to Michelle’s family, there were repeated conflicts between the two as he tried to limit his girlfriend’s movements and forbade her from talking to other men.
In the evening, the mother went to check on her 16-year-old daughter and Akhondzada.
The mother was reportedly unable to open the bedroom door as it was blocked by a cabinet.
When the mother somehow managed to get in the room, she found the lifeless body of her daughter.
An autopsy showed the teenage girl had died from two stab wounds to her back, with one stab puncturing her lung.
According to the Steyr Police, Akhondzada was no longer in the room as he had managed to escape through an open window.
The Afghan national lived in a local asylum centre and was said to have an on-off relationship with Michelle.
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