A convicted rapist had been released from a mental hospital before murdering a Danish student, an Old Bailey court was told yesterday.

Bryan Carter, 32, was jailed for life after admitting strangling Lise Lore-Hartling, 21, a student from Copenhagen, on 14 August last year. Two years earlier, Carter had been freed from hospital after a tribunal thought 'he was no longer a threat to women.

Sentencing Carter, Lawrence Verney QC, the Recorder of London, said: 'It remains to be seen whether in light of your medical history I should recommend to the Secretary of State a minimum length of time which you should serve.

John Nutting, for the prosecution, said Carter, who had been convicted of raping an Avon woman in Oxford in 1985, murdered Miss Lore-Hartling after a party at Garth Owen House, a Chiswick hostel run by the Mental After Care Association. Carter had gone to the party with his girlfriend, Julia Beagly, a nurse at the hostel. Miss Lore-Hartling was Miss Beagly's assistant. Mr Nutting told the court that Carter and Miss Lore-Hartling were seen together during the evening. When the victim went to leave the party, Carter got in her taxi to go with her to another party in Goldhawk Road, Shepherd's Bush.

'Witnesses at this party all say that Carter was stuck close to Miss Lore-Hartling the whole time they were there, but again she told people at the party that nothing was going on, Mr Nutting said. 'They left the party together and they were seen at the door of the victim's flat and in the flat by a passer-by shortly afterwards.

'What exactly happened next is difficult to know. But at some stage Carter smashed a bottle over Miss Lore-Hartling's head and strangled her.

The body was discovered by Robert Taylor, her boyfriend. Carter was arrested and initially denied being in the flat with the victim. He later admitted strangling her.

The court was told that Carter had spent six years in Broadmoor for raping an Avon saleswoman in 1985. In 1991 he was transferred from Broadmoor to a north London mental health hospital. A review tribunal later conditionally discharged him as it was felt he was no longer a threat to women, though it was acknowledged that he could still be aggressive towards them.

Michael Corkery, for the defence, said: 'There is nothing to suggest that Mr Carter had violent sex with the victim. For a reason that is not clear he lost his temper and just snapped.