An unemployed and homeless man beat his sister-in-law with a dumbbell bar and cut her throat leaving her to bleed to death in the arms of her young children – out of shame at his lack of ‘status’ in the community.
Foyez Ahmed, 31, flew into a rage and beat 38-year-old Razu Khan before slashing her throat with a kitchen knife, severing her wind pipe and blood vessels, and fleeing the family home.
He was starting a life sentence in jail today, ordered to serve a minimum 22 year prison term at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to murder.
Bangladeshi Ahmed, who had no job, no money, no home and no prospect of marriage, had tried to ‘calm himself down’ by consulting the Koran, but ‘lost it’ after believing that Mrs Khan had laughed at him.
Three of Mrs Khan’s four children and her 13-year-old niece were upstairs when Ahmed attacked her and were alerted to what had happened by her screams.
Her 13-year-old daughter held her hand as she lay dying on the sofa while her 17-year-old son tried in vain to revive her.
She died in hospital from her injuries.
When police caught up with Ahmed, he told them: ‘I’m not a proper murderer, I haven’t done it before, this is the first time. I don’t know what I did but I now realise I made a serious mistake.’
Ahmed had been lodging at the home of his brother Mohammed Rahman, 53, a successful restaurant owner, and his wife of 20 years Razu in Oldham, Greater Manchester, when he attacked Mrs Khan during the school half term holidays on June 8
Ahmed had arrived in the UK with a work permit in 2004 and had been casually employed at the family restaurant in Cheshire.
He felt he had been ‘poorly treated’ by his brother and sister-in-law, despite Mr Rahman giving him food and shelter.
He became ‘frustrated with the predicament of having no job and being unable to leave the family home and return to Bangladesh,’ the court heard.
The night before the murder he felt ‘increased frustration’ and turned to his Koran in an effort to calm himself.
But the following morning while talking with Razu he ‘lost it.’
Prosecutor Mr Peter Wright QC said: ‘She laughed and he had perceived that she was laughing at him and he said that was the final straw.’
Ahmed stormed up to his bedroom and was seen by the children angrily going back downstairs with the dumbbell bar in his hand with the weights removed.
He then grabbed the carving knife from the kitchen drawer.
At the time three of Razu’s children, a 17-year-old boy and two girls aged 10 and 13, were upstairs along with her 13-year-old niece.
Mr Wright added: ‘They heard repeated bangs from downstairs and looked out of the window and saw the defendant who acknowledged them at the window and he was appearing to use his mobile phone.
‘The 10-year-old daughter went to investigate and found her mother in the lounge with the dumbbell and knife lying nearby. She called for her sister who touched her mother’s hand.
‘They were extremely distressed and called for their brother who raised the alarm and tried to assist his mother. He realised she was fatally injured yet continued to perform chest compressions but to no avail.’
Ahmed rang police to admit he had killed his sister-in-law then rang his brother to confess.
Mr Rahman immediately called the house and spoke to his 17-year old son but the youngster would not tell his father the full extent of Razu’s injuries for fear of his father racing back too quickly from his restaurant.
Tests revealed Razu’s wind pipe and major blood vessels were severed.
Defending Ahmed, John Wishart said: ‘It was an act of total frustration.
‘He had no job, no money, nowhere to live. Because of his lack of status in the community, there was no prospect of a wife. He told the police of “the hopelessness of his situation”.’
Sentencing Ahmed, Judge Andrew Gilbart QC said: ‘Your act has robbed Razu’s family of her love, affection and company.
‘For them to live with the knowledge that their wife, or mother or child has been murdered is bad enough but to live with the knowledge that it was at the hands of a close family member is even worse.
‘You inflicted terrible and savage injuries upon her in her own house and you must have realised her children would find her.
‘You have always accepted responsibility for what you did but I do not accept that the stresses and strains of you living in your brother’s house can amount to any mitigation of this dreadful attack on your sister-in-law.’
Speaking after court, Razu’s sister, Aleya Khanum said: ‘It has been emotional for the whole family. If he was sentenced abroad then they believe in capital punishment.
‘This sentence will not bring back my sister, a daughter or mother back no matter how many years you give him. There are no amount of years which will give that back.’
Det Chief Insp Phil Reade of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Only Ahmed knows why he carried out this horrific killing, taking away a wife from his brother and the mother of three children.
‘They will be scarred by the devastating events of that day, and our thoughts remain with all family members.’