Man sentenced over manslaughter in Luton hotel

Ashwin Desai

Ashwin Desai

A man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a Canadian businessman in a Luton hotel.

IT engineer Ashwin Desai was staying at the Hampton by Hilton hotel in Luton while on a business trip when he was savagely attacked on September 20, 2015.

At Luton Crown Court yesterday, Reinis Pupolins, 22, from Latvia, denied murder but admitted the manslaughter of Mr Desai on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Mr Desai was due to return home to Canada the next morning, when at around 9pm he was brutally attacked by Pupolins with a fire extinguisher.

His injuries were so severe that he never regained consciousness and, after being repatriated to Canada, he died as a result of his injuries on 31 December.

Pupolins was sentenced to be detained in a secure mental health hospital under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act and a restriction order under Section 41 with an indefinite time limit.

A further charge of assault against another man in the hotel on the same night will lie on file.

In a statement after his death, Mr Desai’s family said: “Ashwin was a very gentle soul, someone who was always there for his friends and family, and active in the community in which he lived. He will be sorely missed.

“His simple and caring nature has made this world a better place to live in. Ashwin came from humble beginnings and, with dedicated hard work he built himself a happy life in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.”

He left behind a wife and seven-year-old daughter.

Det Insp Jerry Waite said: “This was a tragic case in which a man who was due to fly home to his family after a business trip was brutally injured, costing him his life.

“The Beds, Cambs and Herts major crime unit are dedicated to bringing dangerous individuals off the streets and this sentence passed by the courts will ensure that Pupolins gets the treatment he needs and no longer poses a danger to the public.”