Just before his trial began, an angry ex-boyfriend admits to dragging a university student into her pink car, locking the doors, and then setting it on fire with her inside. He told investigators that he murdered the mother of the girl because she ended their relationship, according to Mirror.
— Christina Savvas (@chrissiesavvas) July 25, 2014
On July 22, 2014, the body of 27-year-old Tia Kounota of Birmingham was found inside of a burning pink Audi. Her ex-boyfriend, Damien Dinobewei, 34, was taken into custody for questioning.
He was later charged with Kounota’s death and taken to a psychiatric hospital.
Dinobewei never admitted to killing his ex-girlfriend– who was a social work student at the Birmingham City University in her third year – until the trial was set to begin. He told investigators that he had difficulties coping with Kounota’s decision to leave the relationship, Birmingham Mail reports.
Sources say once their relationship turned violent, Kounota decided to leave. She moved out of their home and stayed with a relative.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) June 1, 2015
Dinobewei said he dragged his ex-girlfriend by the hair and forced her into her car, he locked the doors, and then drove to cul-de-sac in Erdington where he set the car on fire with her still inside.
Although the results were inconclusive, a Birmingham medical examiner concluded that she suffered a blow to the head, which more than likely resulted in a loss of consciousness or she was already dead before the car was set on fire.
Witnesses say they saw the suspect punching the victim on the head several times as he dragged her into the car. Several other witnesses also stated that they saw him getting out of the pink Audi just before setting it on fire.
After Kounota’s death, her friend Meegan Nelson paid tribute to her via Facebook post that stated: “She wanted to change the system. She talked about it with a passion because she’d seen people in difficult circumstances.”
“Tia was an independent woman, very strong, a fabulous mother. She was beautiful inside and out. She had a massive heart but was a very strong girl.”
“Tia was incredibly loyal to her friends, but wouldn’t take any nonsense. She told it like it was. She was a people person, bubbly, smiling.”
“Tia was one of my closest friends.”
“You have pleaded guilty to unlawful act manslaughter. I will deal with you towards the end of June where there are at least two updated psychiatric reports on which I will base my determining whether the sentence will be one of imprisonment or a hospital order,” Judge James Burbidge told Dinobewei in court.
The judge also informed him that he will remain at the Spinney hospital to continue psychiatric treatment.
Dinobewei will appear at the Birmingham Crown Court later this month for sentencing.
[Image courtesy of Andrew Burton/Getty Images]