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Indian-origin student dismissed from UK university after court finds him guilty of stalking woman

A 22-year-old Indian-origin student was expelled from his university after a UK court found him guilty of stalking a lady

Indian-origin student dismissed from UK university after court finds him guilty of stalking woman
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After his institution ejected him, a 22-year-old Indian-origin student was found guilty of stalking by a UK court and was given a suspended sentence.

Sahil Bhavnani, who intimidated a female student at Oxford Brookes University, was sentenced to four months in prison with a two-year suspension and a five-year restraining order on Thursday.

After learning that Bhavnani will be travelling to Hong Kong with his father on Saturday, Judge Nigel Daly delivered the verdict at the Oxford Crown Court.

"Unfortunately for Mr Bhavnani, it's [Oxford Brookes University] to expel him from the university and the degree he was on," defence lawyer Richard Davies told the court.

A suspended sentence is a sentence imposed after a conviction for a criminal offence that the court directs to be served after the defendant completes a period of probation.

According to the Oxford Mail, Bhavnani was scheduled to be sentenced last month, but when the court learned that the university could take up to six weeks to decide if the engineering student would be dismissed, the case was postponed until January 2022.

The university, however, has brought that judgement forward again in order to wrap up the case this week.

"If you breach that [restraining] order there is a maximum of five years' imprisonment to serve. I hope that your obsession with her is over," Judge Daly told Bhavnani.

WHAT WAS THE STUDENT'S ACTION?

Bhavnani allegedly threatened the female nursing student in a 100-page letter given to her last month, according to the court.

He stated that he had stolen the threats from online poems.

The woman stated in her statement that she was afraid Bhavnani would sexually abuse her.

Bhavnani admitted to stalking but not to a more serious version of the crime. He's previously been on remand for a month after violating his bail earlier.

"I started getting six-minute-long voice messages saying he was going to make me be his wife, make me have his children, make me live with him," the victim had told the BBC.

The victim had made it clear that she was not interested in any form of relationship, and had warned Bhavnani that if he continued to harass her, she would call the cops.

She is now advocating for a change in the university's policy, as well as additional assistance for stalking victims.

UNIVERSITY TAKES ACTION

In a statement, Oxford Brookes University said it wanted to reassure students that it took "reports of harassment, violence or abuse very seriously" and added that lessons would be learned.

"In this individual case, following a university conduct hearing, the most severe penalty available was applied by the university and the student was expelled from Oxford Brookes," the university said in a statement.

"We accept, however, that there are lessons we can learn for the future, especially in cases where student behaviour may also constitute a criminal offence," it added.

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