Sahil Bhavnani was also given a suspended sentence for two years and imposed with a five-year restraining order.
Twenty-two-year-old Sahil Bhavnani was found guilty of stalking a female student at Brookes University and handed two years suspended sentence after the court heard he would leave the UK for Hong Kong on Saturday. The judge also imposed a five-year restraining order on him saying, “If you breach that [restraining] order there is a maximum of five years’ imprisonment to serve. I hope that your obsession with her is over.”
According to the 26-year-old victim who is a nursing student at Brookes University, Bhavnani met her for the first time in Spring 2020. Over the next few months, he became obsessed with her, sending her numerous gifts, cards and messages.
It began to get much worse by the beginning of this year.
“I started getting six-minute-long voice messages saying he was going to make me be his wife, make me have his children, make me live with him,” the victim said in an interview to the BBC.
In March this year, she received a 100-page letter from him the contents of which frightened her no end. The letters spoke of sordid details of what he would do to her — like break her limbs, restrain her with chains and other extreme forms of physical abuse. The victim feared that he was now obsessed enough to harm her as he had threatened in those letters. She reported him to the police and after interviewing her, Sahil was arrested.
The university did not take any action initially saying they could not investigate Bhavnani’s conduct until the criminal justice process had finished. This affected the young victim who was scared to leave her house alone for months. Her friends took turns to be with her all the time. The four months that the university took to put precautionary measures in place caused her serious distress and her studies were affected.
In September, Sahil accepted the stalking charges and entered a guilty plea. The court imposed a restraining order on him but the next month he broke the bail conditions and appeared at the victim’s doorstep. He was arrested and remanded in custody.
It was after this breach of law that the university finally expelled him. They released a statement that said: “In this individual case, following a university conduct hearing, the most severe penalty available was applied by the University and the student was expelled from Oxford Brookes,” it said. “We accept, however, that there are lessons we can learn for the future, especially in cases where student behaviour may also constitute a criminal offence.”