Mother of three who lured young man into remote parking lot with promise to buy his Apple Airpods before fatally attacked, avoided jail time despite playing ‘critical role’ in attack
- Loubna Kawtharani, 28, pleaded guilty to her role in a fatal attack in Sydney
- Ross Houllis, 28, was reportedly murdered after meeting strangers from Facebook
- He had agreed to sell Apple AirPod earphones to a buyer in a parking lot in Wakeley
- Kawtharani pretended to be a buyer, but Mr. Houllis is said to have been met by two men
- The men subsequently beat him and demanded money, resulting in fatal injuries
- The mother of three has received a two-year Intensive Corrections Order
A mother of three who lured a 28-year-old man to a remote parking lot in western Sydney, where he was fatally assaulted, has avoided a full prison sentence despite her ‘pivotal role’ in the attack.
Loubna Kawtharani, now 28, pleaded guilty earlier this year for being complicit in an assault that actually resulted in bodily harm.
Kawtharani admitted to posing as a buyer in the Facebook marketplace for Apple earphones that Ross Houllis wanted to sell in early 2020.
The pair met on the evening of February 14, 2020 in a parking lot in Wakeley to finalize the purchase.
However, police allege that Mr Houllis was instead found in the parking lot by Sami Hamdach, Kawtharani’s partner, and Abdul Karaali.
Loubna Kawtharani, now 28, (pictured) was handed a two-year Intensive Corrections Order after pleading guilty to complicity in the assault actually causing bodily harm
The couple are accused of demanding money and severely beating Mr. Houllis, causing catastrophic injuries to the brain and lungs that ultimately caused his death.
They allegedly took this action because Mr. Houllis had previously sold Hamdach a pair of fake Apple AirPods for $ 150.
Hamdach and Karaali remain in court.
Attorney David Carroll told Kawtharani during the conviction hearing in Campbelltown Local Court on Monday that his client was not present when the fatal attack occurred and was not legally responsible for Mr. Houllis’s death.
But she acknowledged her moral guilt and apologized to his family.
“She certainly accepts the heavy burden of being morally responsible for what followed,” said Mr. Carroll.
‘She carries the deep regret, shame and sorrow every day of her life.’
Mr. Carroll also outlined Kawtharani’s extensive community work and sole nurturing role for her three children.
He said there was a difference in Kawtharani’s case “between the crime and the severity of the consequences” caused by the fatal attack.
But Magistrate George Breton said Kawtharani knew her partner well enough to understand that his alleged confrontation with Mr. Houllis could turn violent.
Ross Houllis, 28, (pictured) was reportedly fatally assaulted by two men in February last year
He said Mr. Houllis’s violent death – due to a dispute based on $ 150 earphones – was tragic, and Kawtharani had ample time to change course between her initial contact with Mr. Houllis and his fatal assault.
He said she “started the events that led to his death.”
In addition, she told Hamdach in a text message before the alleged attack to hide his license plates, indicating that she understood that criminal activity could be taking place.
“You agree you envisioned the possibility of such injuries,” said Mr. Breton.
“In the end, your role was absolutely crucial … it just wouldn’t have happened without you.”
Mr. Breton presented Kawtharani with a two-year Intensive Corrections Order, saying she was obliged to continue her treatment for depression and anxiety.