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Kenyan basketballer arrested in Australia over girlfriend’s bizarre murder

Police in Perth, Australia on Saturday arrested a Kenyan-born semi-professional basketballer in connection with the murder of his girlfriend.

Chudier Thowath Pal, 29, was apprehended after the body of his 30-year-old girlfriend, Stephanie Lee Robinson, was found in a burning house which the two shared.

Fire fighters, who were responding to a fire in the apartment on Saturday morning, discovered the charred remains of the mother of five.

According to WAtoday, a city-wide manhunt was launched for the basketballer and a few minutes past two on same day, an investigating officer noted in a memo that Mr Pal was rambling about having “a neutron star for a father”.

While appearing in Court on Sunday morning, Perth court ordered the suspect to spend seven days at a mental health facility to be further assessed.

Mr Pal was taken to Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital for a minor injury following a fall, with a doctor at the facility giving a medical opinion that the basketballer was showing signs of psychosis but did not seek to make a diagnosis.

On Monday, the court ordered Thowath be taken to Graylands Hospital’s high-security mental facility, Frankland Centre, for further mental health assessment.

He will spend seven days at the facility before being taken back to court on Monday.

An aunt and mother of the victim described her to 7NEWS as “gentle and non-violent and that she was a beautiful individual.”

She added that when she died the children were not in the house.

On November 2, 2020 Ms Robinson had posted on Facebook that she was in a “complicated relationship”, with one of her male friends replying “you deserve better”.

A resident claimed on social media to have seen the couple walking together the day before, “laughing happily” before entering the flat.

Pal had grown up in Kenya before moving to Western Australia where he played in NBL1 teams including the Rockingham Flames and the Mandurah Magic.

He spent a number of years playing college basketball in the US with the University of North Carolina Asheville Bulldogs and signed up as a training player with the Perth Wildcats after returning to Australia from the US in 2016.