A mother of three who lured 28-year-old, Ross Houllis, to the secluded western Sydney car park where he was fatally assaulted has avoided full-time imprisonment despite her “crucial role” in the attack, 7News has reported.
Loubna Kawtharani, now 28, pleaded guilty earlier this year to being an accessory before the fact of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
Kawtharani admitted posing as a buyer on Facebook marketplace in early 2020 for Apple earphones that Ross Houllis was seeking to sell.
According to 7News, the pair arranged to meet at a Wakeley car park on the evening of February 14, 2020, to complete the purchase, however, police allege Houllis was instead met at the car park by Sami Hamdach, Kawtharani’s partner, and Abdul Karaali.
The pair are accused of demanding money and severely beating Houllis, leaving him with catastrophic injuries to the brain and lungs which ultimately caused his death.
Defence lawyer, David Carroll, told Kawtharani’s sentencing hearing at Campbelltown Local Court on Monday that his client was not present when the fatal assault occurred and was not legally responsible for Houllis’ death.
But she acknowledged her moral culpability and apologised to his family, 7News reports.
“She certainly does accept the heavy burden of being responsible morally for what followed,” Carroll said.
“She carries the deep regret and shame and sorrow every day of her life.”
Carroll also said there was a difference in Kawtharani’s case “between the criminality and gravity of consequences” wrought by the fatal assault.
But magistrate George Breton said Kawtharani knew her partner well enough to understand his alleged confrontation with Houllis may turn violent.