A Moroccan lorry driver has been jailed for life after he was convicted of killing a 28-year-old German hitchhiker and then driving three days across Europe with her body before burning it to destroy evidence.
The killer Boujemaa L., 42, was found guilty by the court in Bayreuth in the southern German province of Bavaria of murdering 28-year-old German hitchhiker Sophia Loesche, whose body was found in Asparrena in northern Spain on 21st June last year.
It was six days after she started hitchhiking from Leipzig in the Eastern German state of Saxony. She had planned to hitchhike from Leipzig to her parents’ home in the Bavarian city of Amberg, but ended up murdered 1,000 miles away from her destination.
Following a two-month trial the court agreed that the evidence showed clearly that the lorry driver had attacked the young woman after an argument, seriously injuring her, and then attacking her again in which he killed her.
He then drove her body across Europe for three days before dousing the body in petrol and setting it alight in an attempt to get rid of the evidence.
Judge Bernhard Held told Boujemaa L.: “You do not have to pay for what you have done with your life, like you offered numerous times during the trial. But you have to pay for your actions with the sentence you received today.”
The court believes the murderer had a sexual motive and that the attack happened when the 28-year-old refused his advances.
The judge said: “You thought you would try and see what you could get from her.”
The court believe that her rejections of his advances hurt his pride.
Sophia slapped Boujemaa L. in the face and the court believed that this defence by the student made Boujemaa L. enraged, causing him to beat Sophia over the head with a wheel spanner leaving her with massive injuries.
The judge said: “This slap in the face was what sent the defendant, who was known for his bad temper, into a complete rage.”
After attacking Sophia for the first time he got out of his lorry and walked around the car park for twenty minutes. When he returned and saw she was still alive he attacked her again.
The Judge said: “When he saw Sophia lift her head slightly and stretch out her arm, he hit her again with the wheel spanner at least once.”
He added: “Sophia Loesche was a person where there are almost no pictures in existence where she is not smiling on and doesn’t appear happy. This is in complete contrast to the photos of her body when it was found.”
In court, Boujemaa L. claimed Sophia had smoked cannabis and was throwing his things around the cabin of his lorry, adding that he thought she was going to steal his things.
He said: “I told her to get out. I was smiling and trying to calm the situation. I went to my laptop and she hit me in the face, that took me by surprise. She then pushed me. I wanted some respect.”
He admitted he then flipped out and hit her numerous times with a metal bar on the head.
He said: “I put her body in the cabin of the lorry and drove three days through Europe with her body hidden there until we got to Spain.
“I then covered her body in petrol and set her on fire and left her there. I thought she would disappear.”
In court, he also said: “You can sentence me to death if you want. I just want this behind me.”
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