News State Western Australia Eduardo Santos Abrahao Filho jailed over apartment stairwell attack on Mehreen Ahmad

Eduardo Santos Abrahao Filho jailed over apartment stairwell attack on Mehreen Ahmad

Mehreen Ahmad in hospital after the May 2017 incident.
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A man who bashed a Pakistani teaching student in a Perth apartment block stairwell, leaving her in a wheelchair with a severe brain injury, has been sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in jail.

Mehreen Ahmad was found unconscious, face-down in a pool of blood in Perth’s CBD in May last year.

Eduardo Santos Abrahao Filho had been charged with attempting to murder the 31-year-old, but earlier this year the Brazilian national pleaded guilty to intentionally causing grievous bodily harm.

The court heard that during the attack the victim’s head struck a concrete floor before she fell down two flights of stairs.

Earlier in the trial, the prosecution said Ms Mehreen was looking forward to seeing 27-year-old Filho at the party in the apartment on Murray Street.

They were intimate with each other in public areas of the apartment block, and by the wall near a stairwell.

Prosecutor Paul Usher told the court Ms Mehreen received a “bleeding injury” during their encounter and Filho put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming.

Mehreen Ahmad in 2015 and after the alleged attack, when she returned to Pakistan.

The court heard there was a struggle and the fire door to the stairs opened, before Ms Mehreen’s head “struck on the concrete floor”.

She then tried to kick Filho away and fell down the stairs, coming to rest face down on a landing.

Filho left the scene and was arrested the next day at his Inglewood home.

Ms Mehreen was found in the stairwell with critical injuries.

Ms Mehreen had been studying in Perth for two years, but has since returned to Pakistan. Photo: Facebook/ Mehreen Ahmad

Victim remains ‘unresponsive’ after attack

Defence counsel Linda Black told the court her client’s actions, “however despicable”, were not intended to cause harm to Ms Mehreen.

She said her client was not a violent person, he was a hardworking man with a large number of references, including from women who knew him.

Ms Black said Filho “had planned to spend his life in Australia” but was likely to be deported following his custodial sentence.

Ms Mehreen now has ongoing difficulties with eating, communicating and independent movement, and relies on her parents to meet all her needs.

Her parents earlier gave evidence in a victim impact statement that their daughter remains “unresponsive in every way”.

She used to be “full of life and love”, they said, and she had dreamed of starting her own family and travelling.

Now, they said, “we may never have our daughter back again” and it was unlikely she would ever walk.

Filho will be eligible for parole in seven years.