NewsCrime Desk

Businessman admits murdering woman in hotel room after meeting her on dating site

Sammy Almahri
Sammy Almahri

A US businessman has admitted strangling a British woman in a hotel room after meeting her on a dating site.

Sammy Almahri, 45, pleaded guilty to murdering Nadine Aburas, 28, at the Future Inn, Cardiff Bay, on New Year's Eve 2014, before placing a "do not disturb" sign on the room door, South Wales Police said

Almahri initially admitted manslaughter, but denied murder saying he was suffering a mental disorder and carried out the killing after hearing the "voice of God".

In a statement issued following the new plea, the family of Ms Aburas said: "Justice has been done for Nadine. The right verdict has been returned. We wish to thank everyone who has assisted us throughout this tragic period in our lives.

"We ask now that we are given time to grieve and remember our beautiful girl. We will give a full statement after sentence."

During the first day of the trial at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday, prosecuting counsel Roger Thomas QC described Almahri as a jealous and controlling ex-boyfriend, who had previously threatened to post naked photographs of Ms Aburas online.

The couple met on internet dating site MuslimMatch.com in 2013, with Almahri making the "fictitious" claim he worked for the FBI.

He was described as being "besotted" with Ms Aburas and showered her with presents - including a car.

However, the court heard the relationship soured in 2014 when Ms Aburas visited Almahri in New York.

When she returned to Wales, she was described as looking "tired" and "drained", and later contacted police saying she had been raped - although the complaint was not pursued by her or the police.

Nadine Aburas

Almahri later threatened to post a naked photograph of Ms Aburas on Facebook - and sent her a message just days before the death saying "you will be so sorry ... I know your (sic) with someone else", the court was told.

Almahri arrived in Wales on December 29 and Ms Aburas arrived at his hotel the following day - despite telling him earlier she wanted nothing more to do with him. Her body was found by a hotel worker at around 12.20pm on December 31.

After killing Ms Aburas, Almahri drove to Heathrow Airport using his victim's car and boarded a flight to Qatar, before eventually ending up in Tanzania.

Almahri changed his plea to guilty during a hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday and will be sentenced on November 3, South Wales police said.