Tosha Thakkar hardly knew her neighbour, Daniel Stani-Reginald.
But the man who lived next door had been planning his “cold and calculated” crime well before he raped and murdered the 24-year-old Indian student, the Supreme Court in Sydney has been told.
Stani-Reginald then stuffed Ms Thakkar’s body in a suitcase, dumped it in a canal and went home to read an article called Beginnings of a Serial Killer, the court heard on Monday.
Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC has urged Justice Derek Price to impose a life sentence on Stani-Reginald, saying he is capable of seeking notoriety as a serial killer.
While other young men his age were going to college or learning a trade, Stani-Reginald, 21, “made a deliberate decision to school himself on how to become a serial rapist and murderer”, Mr Tedeschi said.
In the three months before he raped and strangled Ms Thakkar in the Croydon unit where she lived next door to him, he had viewed about 9500 disturbing internet articles and websites on serial killers and notorious rapists.
He looked up articles on infamous Australian cases like that of Dean Shillingsworth, the murdered toddler whose body was dumped in a suitcase.
He read judgments on the sentences of notorious killers and viewed pornography relating to the “degradation of Indian women” on the morning he murdered Ms Thakkar, the court heard.
Stani-Reginald has pleaded guilty to raping and murdering Ms Thakkar on March 9, 2011.
Her body was discovered by construction workers two days later.
Her parents travelled from India for his sentence hearing and described their anguish over the death of their sweet and caring daughter.
Mr Tedeschi said Stani-Reginald showed no signs of mental illness and was not under the effect of any drugs or alcohol when he carried out the well-planned murder.
Afterwards, he had called a cab, transported Ms Thakkar’s body to the canal in the suitcase and then gone to a shopping centre.
He continued his internet searches of serial killers even as police were milling around outside his unit and had a casual conversation with Ms Thakkar’s boyfriend that day, the court heard.
“There’s not the slightest suggestion he was horrified by what he had done,” Mr Tedeschi said, adding that Stani-Reginald has still shown no remorse.
“The community would be justifiably aggrieved if he were to receive a sentence less than life imprisonment,” Mr Tedeschi said.
The sentence hearing continues.