Sisters Indianna (3) and Savannah Mihayo (4) in happier times. Their father, Tanzanian resident in Australia Charles Mihayo (36), faces a life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty of murdering the two girls in Melbourne by suffocating them earlier this year.
Dar es Salaam. A Tanzanian resident of Australia faces a prolonged jail term after he pleaded guilty of murdering his two daughters aged three and four.
According to media reports in Australia, Charles Mihayo, 36, will be sentenced next month for the offence which carries a maximum of life imprisonment.
Mihayo admitted, in court, he had suffocated the children, Savannah, 4, and Indianna, 3 in Melbourne. He claimed he did not plan to kill his children but would not say why he did it, reported The Age.
The accused, appeared in court handcuffed and wearing a grey track suit and was remanded for a plea hearing on November 5.
With the guilty plea, he is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars since the maximum penalty for murder in Australia is life imprisonment.
He was first arraigned in April for taking the lives of the little girls who were found dead at their grandmother’s home in Watsonia on Easter Sunday.
Australian media reported that Mihayo, flanked by three guards, appeared in the dock behind glass, usually reserved for unruly or high-risk defendants.
“Mihayo who was living in a granny flat at the back of the property (where the crime was committed), was married to the girls’ mother, but they separated about a year ago,” reported Herald Sun, adding that the arrangements for care of the girls was not known.
The overwhelmed mother of the girls said they will be “forever missed, loved, and never forgotten”, and added: “We are utterly devastated at the loss of Savannah and Indianna,” in a brief statement released by police.
But last week, details emerged how Mihayo had played hide and seek with the girls before smothering them with a pillow in the house.
“A prosecution summary tendered at an earlier Melbourne Magistrates’ Court hearing revealed Mihayo, a Tanzania national who is a permanent resident of Australia, told his estranged partner, the girl’s mother that he wanted to ‘say goodbye’ to the girls and ‘see them one last time’ so a meeting was planned for the following day,” reported The Age:
“The girls’ mother took them to see Mihayo, who lived in a self-contained unit at the back of her mother’s house at Watsonia, just after 2pm on Easter Sunday.”