Failed asylum seeker jailed for murder of teenager Cheryl Tariah in Barkingside

A failed asylum seeker who strangled his girlfriend to death in his Barkingside hostel, after learning he was to be kicked out of the country, has been locked up for at least ten-and-a-half years today.

Ako Amin, 19, of Barkingside High Street, Barkingside flew into a rage when 17-year-old Cheryl Tariah showed up at his hostel, the Old Bailey heard.

He battered her with a hammer before strangling her on February 7, the court was told.

Iranian-born Amin, who claimed asylum in the UK in 2008 after his brother was murdered, tried to flee the country and was discovered at Dover three days later.

Police discovered a hammer in his bedroom, concealed in a black bin bag, before Amin admitted to the murder.

He was sentenced to a minimum term of ten-and-a-half years followed by deportation once released today.

Judge Richards Marks QC told him his “wicked act” had deprived Miss Tariah’s mother, whose husband died in 2010, of a loving daughter’s “comfort and support”.

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He said: “I hope you ponder for the rest of your life what you did that day, for it was shocking, appalling and unforgiveable.”

The court heard that Miss Tariah, who lived in Dunloe Avenue, Tottenham, north London, and was studying art at Chelmsford College in Essex, had been in an on-off relationship with Amin but often found him to be possessive, jealous and controlling.

When she went to Amin’s hostel, above the Buy Labels for Less store, a neighbour overheard Amin shouting out other men’s names, before Miss Tariah told him, “Don’t hurt me, leave me alone and get off me.”

The shouts were followed by screams and choking that could be heard through an open window.

Amin later walked to a nearby library, where he asked a friend to dispose of the body, the court heard.

Jason Dunn-Shaw, defending, said: “He destroyed a young and innocent life and nothing can be done about that.

“He will always live with that memory, the horror of what he has done.”