Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 18:50 UK

Sisters died in 'depraved' attack

Sabrina and Yasmine Larbi-Cherif
Sabrina and Yasmine Larbi-Cherif were found dead in their flat

A man murdered his on-off girlfriend and her sister in a "brutal and depraved" attack, stabbing one of them more than 30 times, a court has heard.

Mohammed Ali, 29, of Old Snow Hill, Birmingham, had been in a relationship with Yasmine Larbi-Cherif, 22.

He denies murdering Ms Larbi-Cherif and her 19-year-old sister Sabrina, who were found at their flat near Birmingham city centre in September.

The prosecution said there was a "sexual motive" for the killings.

David Crigman QC told the jury at Birmingham Crown Court that Mr Ali had admitted the manslaughter of the sisters on the grounds of provocation.

'Scene of carnage'

Mr Crigman said Mr Ali stabbed the sisters before dragging their bodies into a bedroom and had twice had to rearm himself after knives he had used to stab the sisters broke.

After showing the jury CCTV footage of Mr Ali leaving the women's apartment he said: "[Mr Ali] had left behind a scene of carnage.

"He had used violence of the most brutal and depraved kind and he had killed two young girls."

He said the accused was arrested in Dover two days after leaving the fourth-floor flat.

He added: "In this case, it's likely that there will be overlapping motives - anger, control, base male brutality and a significant sexual dimension."

You hurt me with your words. You cannot respect a woman can you?
Yasmine Larbi-Cherif's text message

The court heard Yasmine Larbi-Cherif met Mr Ali in 2006 and became pregnant by him twice, resulting in two terminations. Mr Crigman said the couple's relationship was "foundering" prior to the killings.

In a text message to Mr Ali a few days before her death, she wrote: "Actually let's call it a day like you mentioned. I am disappointed you think I am a slut.

"I am not willing to have you in my life if you do not respect who I am."

The jury was told that in another text, the 22-year-old wrote: "You hurt me with your words. You cannot respect a woman can you?"

The trial was adjourned until Friday.

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific