Birmingham murderer, 26, jailed over stabbing woman 15 times after facing rejection

Halefom Weldeyohannes (left) stabbed 19-year-old Yordanos Brhane (right) to death Credit: BPM Media

A "brutal" murderer in Birmingham has been jailed after fatally stabbing a teenager, who had refused his advances.

Halefom Weldeyohannes, 26, stabbed 19-year-old Yordanos Brhane to death after she told him that she had no romantic interest in him, Birmingham Crown Court heard. 

Miss Brhane left her native Eritrea in 2020 to set up a life in the UK, but just the following year her housemate woke up to the sound of her screaming.

She had been stabbed 15 times and strangled for 15-30 seconds, the court heard.

Christopher Quinlan QC, prosecuting, said: "This case concerns the brutal and senseless killing of a young woman.

"The defendant's attack was a vicious and sustained one during which he strangled and slashed her.

"They shared a common language. The defendant had feelings for her which were clearly different to hers for him.

"He murdered Yordanos in her bedroom. He left her on the bed dying and made his way to New Street railway station.

"There he caught a train to Sheffield before being arrested in Stoke-on-Trent the following day."

Birmingham Crown Court heard the case concerns a 'brutal and senseless killing of a woman' Credit: BPM Media

'He left her on the bed dying'

Mr Quinlan said Weldeyohannes knew the victim before they arrived in the UK in 2020.

He had previously asked another man to send her a number of "false" messages to see whether the feelings he had for her were reciprocated, the court heard.

He then contacted Miss Brhane to apologise and expressed his love for her. Mr Quinlan said Weldeyohannes told the victim he wanted to meet her but she requested that he didn't come.

Weldeyohannes ignored her and travelled to Birmingham. They met at Temple Row before travelling by bus to her home on Unett Street in Hockley.

Mr Quinlan said one of the victim's housemates was later awoken by her screams.

Mr Quinlan said: "Before that she had received two text messages from Yordanos. She went to Yordanos's room and knocked twice on the door. She opened it and stood in the doorway. 

"She saw Yordanos who was lying on the floor with the defendant on top of her. He had both hands around her neck gripping her tightly.

"She noticed Yordanos was holding a kitchen knife. That may well have been the knife used to inflict the terrible injuries." 

She and another housemate raised the alarm and Weldeyohannes fled, trying to hide blood on his trousers.

A post-mortem examination revealed Miss Brhane suffered 15 sharp force injuries while the defendant had also strangled her for between 15 and 30 seconds.

Mr Quinlan said Weldeyohannes also tried to set light to her clothes with a lighter. He later searched the internet for reports of the murder.

Passing sentence, Judge Simon Drew QC told him: "On July 30 you spoke to Yordanos on a number of occasions, she recorded those calls.

"You told Yordanos you loved her and asked her to be your lover. However it was clear from her replies that your feelings were not reciprocated.

"She told you: 'We are brother and sister'. Despite that you repeatedly said you wanted to meet with her urgently to apologise. Her response was to tell you to stay at home."

'You left her to die', judge says

"Her message to you could not have been clearer. Yordanos had no defensive injuries. It is possible you stabbed her first before then strangling her. Either way she suffered a brutal and violent death at your hands.

"You did not give her any medical assistance or call the emergency services and you left her to die. I have no doubt that was your clear intention.

"I have read the victim personal statement. He [Miss Brhane's brother] described what a kind, considerate and gentle person she was. She was deeply religious and it was her ambition to find a career that involved helping others.

"He set out how the family had been devastated by her loss. You became obsessed with Yordanos and convinced yourself you should live together.

"However, she politely rebuffed you. As a result you lost your temper with her and attacked and killed her. There is no evidence of provocation."

Charles Miskin QC, mitigating, said: "He simply lost his temper during what must have been a sustained argument which probably went on for an hour or so borne out of a sense of overbearing frustration in his life."

Weldeyohannes has been jailed for life and will be serving at least 21 years.