Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, 41, who denied all the charges, was convicted more than five years after Hannah was found strangled.

She had been walking a short distance home after a night out in Southampton when she went missing on 14 March 2003. Her body was found two days later.

Her father, Trevor Foster, called Kohli a “cold, calculating and ruthless man”.

“Today we are feeling an overwhelming sense of relief at the verdict in this trial,” he added.

“We have long realised that Kohli is a cold, calculating and totally ruthless man and has destroyed so many people’s life without a second thought.”

On the run

Kohli snatched the teenager from a street yards from her home in Southampton after she had spent an evening with friends.

The A-level student called 999 in the hope an operator would hear what was happening, but the call was terminated when she did not speak.

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Kohli dumped her body next to a road in Allington Lane, West End, and went back home to his wife and two sons.

Four days later, he fled to India, where he led a life on the run for 16 months before being arrested.

While in custody in India he gave a televised confession which he later retracted.

After more than four years of campaigning by Hannah’s parents Hilary and Trevor Foster, Kohli was finally extradited back to Britain last year to stand trial.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by Hannah’s aunt Jill Lewis, Hannah’s mother Hilary said she would feel guilt for the rest of her life that she was not there to protect her daughter when she was murdered.

“Kohli ripped out my heart and stamped on it,” she said.

“When Trevor and I saw Hannah in the mortuary, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, there must be some mistake.”

“The cold, battered and bruised body certainly looked like her, but where was the sparkle in her eyes?”

Speaking earlier to the BBC, Mr Foster said: “I remember talking to her and saying, ‘We’ll find who did this to you’. And that’s what we’ve been focused on doing since.”

Mr and Mrs Foster said it was only now after Kohli was convicted that they could properly start to grieve for their daughter.

“The focus has been on her killer, not on Hannah,” Mrs Foster said.

Her husband added: “I don’t think there is such a thing as closure.

“It doesn’t go away, the grief and the pain, they’re going to be there until the day we die.”

By Anupama

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