A “controlling and violent” man who stabbed his teenage friend to death before trying to burn her body after she rejected his advances has been jailed for life.
Halefom Weldeyohannes, 26, repeatedly knifed 19-year-old Yordanos Brhane at her home in Birmingham, on 31 July last year.
A court heard she died as a result of strangulation as well as horrific stab wounds to her face and neck.
Weldeyohanne launched the brutal attack after Yordanos said she had no romantic interest in him and saw him “more as a brother”.
The pair had known each other for many years having both grown up in the same village in Eritrea and Yordanos had moved to the UK in search of a better life.
Weldeyohannes preceded to stab her 15 times with a kitchen knife, strangled her for up to 30 seconds and tried to set fire to her body before fleeing the scene.
Police launched a nationwide manhunt and tracked down Weldeyohanne the following day at an address in Stoke-on-Trent where he was visiting a friend.
‘Her life was cut short by a jealous, controlling and violent man’
He had earlier been home to Sheffield to change his clothes and it is believed he was trying to raise money to flee the country.
Weldeyohannes, of Sheffield city centre, pleaded guilty to murder on Monday (22/8) and was jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court.
He will serve a minimum term of 21 years before he is eligible to apply for parole.
Detective Inspector Jim Mahon, from West Midlands Police, said afterwards: “We still don’t know why Weldeyohannes attacked Yordanos.
“We understand from our investigations that he wanted a romantic relationship with her, but she viewed their relationship as platonic.
“This is incredibly tragic for Yordanos’ family. She had left her country and come to the UK where she found work and felt safe.
“However, her life was cut short by a jealous, controlling and violent man who would not accept that she did not want to be in a relationship with him.
“Only Weldeyohannes knows exactly what happened that morning and is now facing many years behind bars.
“Yordanos’ family are still grieving her loss and our thoughts remain with them.”
‘Yordanos loved helping people’
Yordanos’ family said in a statement: “Yordanos was very kind, she respected people. Yordanos loved helping people, and those in difficult situations.
“Nothing was too much trouble for her.
“Yordanos wanted to be a doctor, or a teacher in the future, or somewhere where she could work with children.
“She left Eritrea for a better life in the UK, but instead she was murdered in her own home.
“I feel that him (Weldeyohannes) pleading guilty, admitting what he did saves us from hearing in detail the awful things that he did to my sister, and how she sufferred but it hasn’t, and won’t ever take the pain away.
“We all live with that for the rest of our lives.”