Brazilian man sentenced to detention in mental institution for killing of Hyderabad student in London

In court it emerged that the accused had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia three months before the stabbing incident.


Published May 31, 2024 | 6:49 PMUpdatedMay 31, 2024 | 6:49 PM

London MET police arrests two people, including Brazilian flat mate for murdering Hyderabad girl

By Aditi Khanna

A 24-year-old man of Brazilian heritage, who admitted to the manslaughter of Hyderabad-based student Tejaswini Kontham and the attempted murder of her friend at a residential address in London last year, has been sentenced to detention in a mental institution.

Keven Antonio Lourenco De Morais appeared at Isleworth Crown Court on Thursday, 30 May, where he was sentenced under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983 and a restriction order under Section 41 for the stabbing attacks in June last year, London’s Metropolitan Police said.

He had previously appeared at the same court on 22 April and pleaded guilty to manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

His plea was accepted by the court, having previously pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of the second unnamed victim in Wembley, north London.

“This entire incident has been devastating for all concerned. One young woman lost her life and another woman will likely never recover from the emotional scars, even when the physical ones have faded,” said Detective Inspector Louise Caveen, from the Met Police’s Specialist Crime Command.

Also Read: London police arrest Brazilian flatmate for murder of Telangana woman

‘To receive treatment’

“It is right that Lourenco De Morais will now receive treatment, however, nothing will bring Tejaswini back to her family. Our thoughts remain with them,” she said.

In court this week it emerged that the accused had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia three months before the stabbing incident.

The judge noted that De Morais would have received a life sentence with a minimum nine-year term before being considered for parole, but considered the agreement among multiple doctors that a hospital order would best serve the public, given the medical attention needed to prevent further relapses. De Morais will serve his time at a medium secure mental health unit in the south-east of London.

A murder investigation was launched after police were called to reports of a stabbing at Neeld Crescent in Wembley on the morning of June 13 last year. Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service and found 27-year-old Tejaswini, who was from Hyderabad, and another woman, aged 28 at the time, suffering from knife injuries.

Despite the efforts of emergency services, Tejaswini died at the scene and her family were informed. The second woman was taken to hospital with stab injuries that were later assessed as not life-threatening.

A post-mortem examination conducted at Northwick Park mortuary in London on the following day found the cause of Tejaswini’s death to have been a stab wound to the chest.

“The senseless and sudden way in which Teju was taken from us compounds our grief. Her death is such a huge loss for our family and we all miss her dearly,” said Shiva Namashivaya, in a statement released by the police on behalf of Tejaswini’s family.

The second victim of the knife attack was named locally as Akhila, also from India. According to the Indian National Student Association (INSA) UK, Tejaswini – whose full name is Tejaswini Kontham Reddy – had recently graduated from the University of Greenwich in south London and went on to secure her post-study work visa. At the time of her tragic murder, she had only recently moved to the flat in Wembley after securing a job in north London.

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