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"We have waited nearly six years for this moment" Hannah's parents
7:35am Wednesday 26th November 2008 in News
FOLLOWING the sentencing Hannah Foster's father Trevor criticised the fact that his daughter's killer would not end his life behind bars.
In a statement read outside Winchester Crown Court he said: "Today we are feeling an overwhelming sense of relief at the guilty verdict in this trial. We have waited nearly six years for this moment and we are physically and emotionally exhausted. We have long realised that Kohli is a cold, calculating, and totally ruthless man. He has destroyed so many people's lives without a second thought. He is totally devoid of compassion or respect for the rights of others. He is a bully who thrives on the exploitation of weak and vulnerable people. He has shown not one iota of remorse for his actions. He has taken every opportunity to delay and pervert the course of justice. Today, finally, justice has caught up with him.
"The guilty verdict is the culmination of a long and emotional journey not just for Hilary, Sarah and myself, and not just for our immediate family, close, friends and all the people who knew and loved Hannah, but also for everyone in the local community who has supported us in so many ways and shown us such kindness through the long ordeal.
"We owe a huge debt to the prosecution team in this trial, fronted by the prosecution counsel Mr Haggan and his junior Mr Forster. We're sure they would be the first to recognise the work done by the police in this investigation. We too would like to acknowledge the efforts of Detective Superintendent Alan Betts and the many police officers from Hampshire Constabulary who worked so tirelessly with him, as part of Operation Springfield. They have worked long hours, shown total commitment and professionalism throughout what has been a difficult and at times enormously frustrating investigation. We are delighted that their efforts have been rewarded by the guilty verdict here today and they should all be commended for a job well done.
"We would like to say a special thank you to two people, who, in the course of this investigation, have proved to be our lifelines. Firstly to Morag Scott, our family liaison officer (FLO), who has been with use since the very beginning. She has been the glue holding us all together. She has been highly professional in her police role, yet at the same time sensitive and responsive to our needs. She has even come out of retirement to be our FLO for this trial and see us over the final hurdle; her support again has been immense.
"The other persons we would especially like to thank is Joanne Caley, who was first political secretary at the British High Commission in Delhi, when Kohli's extradition trial began in September 2004. Joanne came to our rescue when we despaired of ever getting any information from India. It was Joanne who had to bear the brunt of our anger and frustration at the endless delays in the judicial process in India, but she did this with good grace and great compassion. After our visits to India in 2006 and 2007, it was Joanne who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the momentum of extradition going. Joanne and Morag gave us the strength to see us through this long ordeal and for that we will always be grateful.
"Our final thanks must go to the jury who performed the most difficult civic duty, with total application, for over six weeks. For your good sense and judgement in arriving at the verdict you did, we sincerely thank you."
Mr Foster went on: "We have done everything we can in pursuit of justice for Hannah. However, we can not accept and never will be able to accept, how a complete stranger can abduct, rape and murder your teenager daughter, still a child in the eyes of the law, and yet not end his days in prison.
"Kohli will in all probability walk out of jail after serving his recommended minimum sentence and resume his life in the outside world. This man callously deprived Hannah of her primary human right, the right to life.
"This sentence gives him the right to a second chance at life, a second chance he never gave Hannah. To see Kohli's life valued in this way when he showed such utter disregard for Hannah's is hurtful beyond measure. The punishment should fit the crime. In this case it certainly did not."