Killer of Bradford woman who was being forced to marry against her wishes jailed
20-year-old Somaiya Begum was murdered by her uncle
A man who killed his niece after she refused to marry a man in Pakistan has been jailed for life.
Mohammed Taroos Khan murdered 20-year-old Somaiya Begum on 25 June, 2022, at her home in Bradford, West Yorkshire. He then disposed of the body at a waste ground which was found 11 days later.
Khan, 53, will serve a minimum of 25 years in prison for the offence.
Begum was a university student and carer, and had earlier approached authorities in Bradford after she was promised to someone at the age of 16 against her will.
Her father had been forcing her to marry a cousin in Pakistan “by threat of violence”, the jury was told. She had consequently been living with another of her uncles and her grandmother as per the terms of a forced marriage protection order.
Khan, who had a restraining order against him after a conviction of battery on his daughter after he threatened to kill her with a knife, was not allowed to visit Begum as the area covered her house where his daughter previously lived.
Mr Justice Garnham, while sentencing Khan, said, “It is not possible to identify a motive for this dreadful attack by you on an innocent young woman.”
He added, “Moreover, it is pure speculation to consider whether this murder was part of some appalling family agreement.”
He told Bradford crown court, “All that matters for present purposes is that the jury have found you guilty of the heinous crime of murder.
“I decline to speculate on your motive and I reject the prosecution’s suggestion that I should treat this as any form of so-called honour killing.”
Garnham also condemned Khan’s horrendous way of discarding Begum’s body, which prompted the sentence to be increased from the starting point of 15 years.
Mohammed Taroos Khan mercilessly killed his niece at her home in Bradford (Image by West Yorkshire Police)
He had stored her body in a shipping container overnight and drove around the next day to find a place to get rid of it.
The judge said, “You showed absolutely no respect for the dead body of your niece in the way you dumped it unceremoniously, wrapped in carpet and covered in scrap material, amongst rubbish on waste ground. You left it there to rot in the summer heat and, when it was found, Somaiya’s face had been eaten away by maggots.”
After proclaiming Khan to be guilty of murder on Tuesday, he said, ““You are going to be an old man by the time you are eligible for parole.”
Senior Crown Prosecutor Daniel Lee, from CPS Yorkshire and Humberside’s Complex Casework Unit, said, “Somaiya Begum was a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her. Her murder is a tragedy and Khan now faces the consequences for his appalling crimes.
“Working closely with West Yorkshire Police, we were able to present clear and compelling evidence that he was responsible for her death.
“Our thoughts remain with the loved ones of Somaiya Begum. I hope this conviction and sentence brings them some form of justice.
“Women have the right to be safe and feel safe. The CPS is committed to securing justice and will always seek to hold violent offenders to account for their crimes.”
Khan was also sentenced to a jail term of five years for perverting the course of justice, which he will serve concurrently.