A 23-year-old Pakistani man has received a life sentence for the murder of his Greek girlfriend.

It is reported that the man, named only as Sunni, was staying with 17-year-old Nicoletta in an Athens apartment, where she lived with her mother and sister.

In August 2022, the couple had an argument which resulted in Sunni killing his girlfriend.

Sunni initially went on the run before being arrested.

Nicoletta’s body was found in her room with injury marks around her neck, indicating she had been strangled.

An autopsy later found that Sunni pressed her nose while forcing a cloth into her mouth.

In court, Sunni said he and Nicoletta had been in a relationship for over a year. He claimed that the reason for their argument was that he wanted to leave Greece and move to Italy.

During the argument, Nicoletta allegedly asked him to convert to Christianity and as the row intensified, she made a comment that disrespected his religion.

Describing the crime, Sunni said:

“I went to leave and she started throwing my clothes. I told her to sit on the bed, she started cursing me and cursing Muhammad.

“I pushed her off the bed and told her to stay there.

“She kept cursing me and Muhammad, and I got angry. I grabbed her by the neck and started telling her, ‘Who is telling you such things all the time? I’m listening to you’.

“I grabbed her at that time by the head and told her to apologise.

“She grabbed my hand and told me to let her go. I didn’t let her go and kept telling her to apologise. After some seconds, I saw that her eyes were closed.

“Then I gave her water, gave her air. I was nervous and left the house.”

When the judge asked why he did not call an ambulance, Sunni expressed regret and revealed he took a train to Thessaloniki.

Explaining how he discovered his girlfriend was dead, Sunni said he found out on the internet.

He elaborated: “I called my father and told him that I made a mistake.

“He asked me what happened and I told him about the girl. He got mad and hung up on me.

“Then I found a compatriot who worked for immigrants, and I told him I wanted to leave, and he helped me.”

Issuing an apology to the victim’s family, Sunni said:

“I wanted to apologise to you and my friend’s family. I know an apology can’t do anything, but that’s all I can do.”

During the sentencing hearing, the victim’s father shouted at Sunni:

“Don’t look at me at all, rot in prison.”

Police removed him from the courtroom to calm him down.

In his testimony, he said that although his daughter was happy in her relationship, he objected to it.

Nicoletta’s sister said: “I think he did it out of jealousy because that day, two friends had come to the house, and he did not want these friends there.

“I immediately understood that he had committed the crime because inside the house were not his things.”

“A week before, my mother had spoken to my sister and [my sister] told her, ‘Mum, wait a week, and I will separate from him’.”

Greek City Times reported that in August 2022, Nicoletta’s father disapproved of any relationship with “these people”.

He said: “Finally, here it is, what happened. She thought that her relationship will be very good and here is the result.”

Police found dozens of threatening messages on Nicoletta’s phone from her boyfriend.

In 2022, the victim’s father had said:

“I sit and look at pictures and I keep crying. A month ago we were having a good time, I had her in my arms. My child can’t be brought back by anyone.”

He said Nicoletta and her older brother were victims of sexual abuse when they were younger.

The perpetrators included a now-deceased man and two Albanians, one who was in a relationship with Nicoletta’s mother.