Last updateMon, 16 Mar 2015 8pm

Australian sentenced to 45 years in prison for murder of Indian student

An Australian man who was studying "how to become a serial killer" has been sentenced to 45 years in jail for the gruesome rape and murder of a young Indian student.

Daniel Stani-Reginald, 21, was told he would spend a minimum of 30 years in prison for strangling his neighbour, Tosha Thakkar, 24, in Sydney, before placing her body in a suitcase and dumping it in a canal in 2011.

A court in Sydney heard how Stani-Reginald had planned the murder for months in advance as part of his "education".

Sentencing him to a maximum 45 year jail term on Friday, Justice Derek Price said Stani-Reginald had shown no capacity for empathy or any remorse for the cruel and premeditated crime.

'There is documented evidence he had been planning similar offences for a period of years, gradually becoming more focused,' Justice Price said.

'Notwithstanding her efforts to survive, the offender strangled her, which was extremely cruel,' Justice Price said.

'The last minutes of her life must have been horrifying. This was a terrible way for the deceased to die.'

After the murder, Stani-Reginald jumped in a cab and transported Miss Thakkar's dismembered body, which he had put in a suitcase, to a canal at Meadowbank, Sydney where it was found two days later.

After dumping the body, he visited a shopping centre before returning home to continue his studies and even spoke to Miss Thakkar's boyfriend as police investigated her disappearance.

Thakkar, an accountancy student, lived in the same apartment complex in the Croydon suburb of west Sydney.

On the morning of the fateful day Stani-Reginald waited for his victim's roommate to leave and then confronted Thakkar as she walked back from a communal bathroom.

He then raped and assaulted her and strangled her with a black coaxial cable, the court heard.

When police searched his laptop they found nearly 10,000 links to articles and websites he accessed over the previous four months, including searches on Charles Manson and Australian teen killer Matthew Milat.



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