France - Britain

London court sentences Frenchman to life for murder of deaf Latvian

The food court at Elephant and Castle, London - Ivanovs worked at the McDonalds there
The food court at Elephant and Castle, London - Ivanovs worked at the McDonalds there Open access/Danny Robinson

A Frenchman has been sentenced to life in prison by a British court for strangling a deaf Latvian with a steam-iron cord and stealing his iPad.


Soufiale Essabri, 23, was arrested in south London December 2012, two days after the death of 30-year-old Andrejs Ivanovs.

Police, who had been called by neighbours who heard screaming, banging and gasping coming from Ivanovs's flat, arrived as the murderer escaped through a first-floor window, taking his victim's iPad and leaving a trail of blood after strangling and stabbing him.

But Essabri, who had previously shared a flat with Ivanovs, left a bloody fingerprint and some of his own blood at the scene, allowing police to track him down.

At the trial police said that there were signs of an extremely violent fight.

Ivanovs had suffered multiple stab wounds to his neck, chest and back, bad bruising to his head, the bones in his neck had been fractured and the iron's lead was still wrapped around his neck.

He had worked at a nearby McDonalds and used sign language and text messages to communicate with friends and colleagues.

Essabri, who is unemployed, claimed to have been acting in self-defence.

The court found him guilty and sentenced him to life with a minimum of 18 years without remission.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning

Keep up to date with international news by downloading the RFI app