Sammy Almahri, 46, who is accused of strangling 28-year-old student Nadine Aburas in a hotel room before fleeing to Tanzania. Ms Aburas' body was found at the Future Inn hotel in Cardiff Bay on New Year's Eve 2014. The trial is starting today Pictured here is Sammy Almahri ¿ WALES NEWS SERVICE
Sammy Almahri, 46, who is accused of strangling 28-year-old student Nadine Aburas in a hotel room before fleeing to Tanzania. Ms Aburas’ body was found at the Future Inn hotel in Cardiff Bay on New Year’s Eve 2014. The trial is starting today Pictured here is Sammy Almahri ¿ WALES NEWS SERVICE

A millionaire businessman strangled his British girlfriend to death after meeting her on a Muslim dating site, a court heard.

Pretty Nadine Aburas, 28, was found dead by hotel staff on New Year’s Eve – hours after Sammy Almahri allegedly fled abroad.

Undated handout photo issued by South Wales Police of Nadine Aburas, as an international manhunt was launched after Nadine Aburas was found dead in a guest room at the Future Inn hotel in Cardiff on New Year's Eve. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday January 3, 2015. South Wales Police say they are treating the death as murder and want to trace suspect Sammy Almahri, an American national from New York City. Almahri, 44, who has distinctive injuries to his face, had an "existing friendship" with Ms Aburas and is now believed to be in Tanzania, the force said. See PA story POLICE Hotel. Photo credit should read: South Wales Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

A court heard how the 44-year-old New York businessman put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door at Future Inns before taking Nadine’s car to drive to Heathrow Airport.

He claims he was suffering from “abnormality of mental function” and was hearing “the voice of God” telling him to kill Nadine.

Cardiff Crown Court heard he pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denies murder.

The pair met on internet dating site MuslimMatch.com and Almahri showered Nadine with gifts and money.

But the relationship allegedly turned sinister after 5ft 3ins Nadine returned to her Cardiff home with a busted lip.

She was also concerned that Almahri would show topless pictures to her family.

The court heard that Almahri had topless photographs, which may have been taken “against her wishes” during an online Skype conversation.

Mr Thomas said at one point the defendant had sent her a text message saying:

“I’m going to post these on Facebook you motherf****** ho”.

Abusive messages read to the jury included one from Almahri when he discovered Nadine had gone on a date saying: “You will be so sorry … I know your (sic) with someone else.”

The court heard Almahri became “increasingly jealous” then began bombarding her with abusive messages.

South Wales Police handout image of a grab taken from CCTV footage of Sammy Almahri. This is the most recent photo of the suspect on the night of the murder. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday January 4, 2015. An international manhunt is under way after a woman was found dead in a hotel room. The body of Nadine Aburas, 28, was discovered by staff at the Future Inn hotel in Cardiff on New Year's Eve. South Wales Police say they are treating the death as murder and want to trace suspect Sammy Almahri, an American national from New York City. See PA story POLICE Hotel. Photo credit should read: South Wales Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
South Wales Police handout image of a grab taken from CCTV footage of Sammy Almahri. This is the most recent photo of the suspect on the night of the murder. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday January 4, 2015. An international manhunt is under way after a woman was found dead in a hotel room. The body of Nadine Aburas, 28, was discovered by staff at the Future Inn hotel in Cardiff on New Year’s Eve. South Wales Police say they are treating the death as murder and want to trace suspect Sammy Almahri, an American national from New York City. See PA story POLICE Hotel. Photo credit should read: South Wales Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

He is said to have warned Nadine, who started seeing other men in her hometown: “You will be in hell.”

Nadine called police to say she had been raped by Almahri in New York – and claimed he had also attempted to strangle her.

Prosecutor Roger Thomas said:

“They became friendly and contacted each other regularly by telephone, text and Skype.

“The friendship developed. It’s clear Almahri visited Nadine two or three times in 2013 and she traveled to New York to see him in the summer of 2014.”

Jurors heard how Almahri travelled from the US and booked into the Future Inns hotel near her home on December 30, 2014.

After drinking nine tequilas in the bar, Nadine arrived at the hotel and the pair later went to the Lilo Grillhouse – where restaurant staff described them as shouting and arguing during a 50-minute stay.

CCTV footage then showed the couple returning to the hotel at around 11.10pm – which Mr Thomas said was the last time Nadine was seen alive.

Shortly after 3am, he left the hotel and travelled in her car to Heathrow where he was booked on a 10.35am flight to Doha in Qata.

Nadine’s body was found at around 12.20pm on New Year’s Eve by the duty manager and police were called in.

The court heard Almahri as eventually located in Tanzania and arrested on an Interpol arrest warrant on January 19 before being returned to Britain.

He originally tried to pretend Nadine had killed herself and that he had assisted her suicide, jurors were told.

Andrea Aburas the mother of Nadine Aburas speaking at a press conference after an international manhunt had been launched for Sammy Almahr ¿ WALES NEWS SERVICE
Andrea Aburas the mother of Nadine Aburas speaking at a press conference after an international manhunt had been launched for Sammy Almahr ¿ WALES NEWS SERVICE

A note found in the room was addressed to Almahri and began “Sorry, have come to an end, I love you” – and was signed “Nadine”.

Mr Thomas said: “In various conversations in the next few days, he suggested Nadine committed suicide and he said he helped her because she effectively couldn’t live without him.

“He was seeking to establish Nadine hadn’t been killed but he had assisted her suicide.”

The prosecutor said Almahri claimed he had had sex with Nadine before she asked him to put his belt around her neck.

He said she told him she loved him before hanging herself with the belt.

The court heard Almahri claims he is not guilty of murder because his responsibility is diminished.

Mr Thomas said: “We submit quite simply this was the killing of a defenseless woman by a jealous and dangerous man.”

The court heard Almahari claimed he worked and traveled on behalf of the FBI – but Mr Thomas said:

“That seems to be fictitious.”

The trial at Cardiff Crown Court – expected to last four weeks – continues.

Credits: The SUN

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