Man convicted of murder - Bracknell

30/11/2012

A 28-year-old man has today, Friday, 30 November 2012, been sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 23 years in prison after being found guilty of murdering his partner.

Muhammad Shafi was found guilty of murdering his partner Tuanjai Sprengel, aged 43, following a trial at Reading Crown Court. He had denied the charge.

Shafi attacked Tuanjai in an underpass under the London Road A329 in Bracknell in the early hours of Sunday, 27 May 2012.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "We have worked closely with Thames Valley Police since this investigation was launched. This was a particularly brutal and savage attack, which led to the untimely death of Tuanjai Sprengel, a woman who had made a new life for herself here in the UK.

"The jury found that there was overwhelming evidence that Mr Shafi killed Ms Sprengel and rejected his claims that she provoked him to lose his self-control. The CPS praises the strength and courage of Tuanjai's cousin and friends who gave evidence at the trial and gave the jury an insight into Tuanjai and her deteriorating relationship with Shafi.

"As a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved for the victim and her family and friends. We hope that the conviction and sentence will in some way help them come to terms with this tragic event and move forward with their lives.

"However, no matter how long the prison sentence is, we acknowledge that nothing can make up for the loss felt by the family and friends of Tuanjai Sprengel. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time."

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Steve Tolmie said: "Throughout this trial, members of the jury have listened carefully to all the evidence put before them and have found Shafi guilty of Tuanjai's murder. He has now been brought to justice.

"Despite evidence which proved that Tuanjai was repeatedly struck with such force that bones in her hands were broken as she tried to defend herself, Shafi claimed that he did not know what had killed her and that it was not his intention to kill or cause serious harm.

"I would like to thank the witnesses for attending court and providing the evidence that convicted this dangerous killer. He stabbed her in the neck before savagely beating Tuanjai with a heavy pair of cutters on at least nine occasions. She was struck with considerable force across the back of her head causing some horrific lacerations.

"He told police that he deeply regretted what had happened and that he loved Tuanjai very much. Yet, according to evidence from his friends, Tuanjai was still breathing when Shafi left her to die in the underpass. When confronted by police at an early stage in the investigation he did not offer any explanation and made out that he knew nothing of her murder. This was a very violent and pointless death. Shafi has shown no remorse or emotion from the time of his arrest, throughout the extensive interviewing at the police station, and during this trial. There were a few 'crocodile tears' from the witness box, but these were of self pity."