Asylum seeker who murdered aspiring marine Thomas Roberts jailed for life

An Afghan asylum seeker’s 26-second act of “extreme, senseless violence” will stay with an aspiring Royal Marine’s family forever, a judge said as he sentenced him to life in

prison. Lawangeen Abdulrahimzai, 21, will have to serve a minimum of 29 years in prison for stabbing Thomas Roberts to death during a row over an e-scooter in Bournemouth,

Dorset, in the early hours of March 12 2022. Abdulrahimzai, who posed as a 14-year-old schoolboy to enter the UK in 2019, was already on the run prior to the murder after

gunning down two fellow migrants in Serbia in 2018. He had been convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison in the Eastern European country in his absence. On

Wednesday at Salisbury Crown Court, Wiltshire, Judge Paul Dugdale told him he had taken the life of a “thoroughly decent man with a bright future”. Mr Robert’s girlfriend

told the court that all the 21-year-old wanted was to “protect and serve” by joining the Royal Marines. Sentencing Abdulrahimzai, Judge Dugdale said: "You spent 26 seconds

of your life with [Mr Roberts], at the end of which you stabbed him fatally twice to the chest with a large knife you routinely carried with you. "You started the conflict

and throughout you were the threatening aggressor. In seconds you took the life of a thoroughly decent man with a bright future who was loved greatly by so many

people. "Your momentary act of extreme, senseless violence has left a family with a tragic loss that they will feel for the rest of their lives." He added it was "very

clear Mr Roberts was loved deeply" and said "he had no doubt" he would have succeeded in the "notoriously tough" Royal Marine application process.