A man who killed a mum-of-three with an ax and then used the weapon to severely injure her husband has been cleared of murder by a jury.
Mohammed Yaqub Malik was instead convicted of a manslaughter after a court heard that he lost control following severe provocation by the couple’s son Wasim Ahmed.
The 58-year-old killed Ishrat Ahmed with a single blow to her head in the hallway of her home in Nelson, Lancashire, on July 4, 2021, LancsLive reports.
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Preston Crown Court heard that Malik then stepped past Mrs Ahmed’s slumped body and turned the ax on her husband Afaq, who had been upstairs saying his prayers.
Mr Ahmed fought for his life as Malik rained down blows on him.
As neighbors heard the commotion and gathered outside the house, Malik returned to his car and drove home to his family home on Heights Road.
Tim Storrie QC, prosecuting, said in October 2019 couple’s son Wasim Ahmed married Malik’s daughter Fatima against her father’s wishes.
Malik and his wife did not attend the wedding and the relationship was troubled from the start.
The couple separated in January 2020 but in the months that followed there was hostility on both sides.
Fake social media posts were created and Wasim Ahmed continually harassed his ex wife and her family, sending prostitutes to the house and posting spiteful comments about the family.
On July 4, Fatima complained her husband had posted sexual content of her on Instagram – although the images were not of her.
“It was the straw that broke the camel’s back”, Mr Shafi QC, defending, said.
The police visited and arranged to take a statement from Fatima but when Wasim made further threats that evening, Malik picked up an ax from the garden and drove to the Ahmed’s house to confront his former son-in-law.
When Ishrat Ahmed opened the door, Malik struck her with a single, hard blow to the head. The ax penetrated her skull and she was rendered unconscious.
He then pushed past her slumped body and set upon her husband Afaq, hitting him at least five times with the axe, before driving home.
The couple were taken to Royal Preston Hospital where Ishrat died and Afaq survived but received treatment for a week.
Malik, of Heights Road, Nelson, was arrested and said he did not remember the attack but later admitted manslaughter and wounding.
The Honorable Mr Justice Hilliard handed down a sentence of 13 years for the unlawful killing of Mrs Ahmed with 32 months to run concurrently for the attack on Mr Ahmed.
He said: “Ishrat Ahmed was a wife and mother of three children. She had done you no harm of any kind.
“No-one who watched these proceedings will forget the humble, dignified and restrained way Afaq Ahmed gave his account, restrained dignified out of respect for her and in her memory.
“He had likewise done you (Malik) no harm or hurt of any kind.
“The personal statement he made is moving to read. His best friend and soulmate can never be replaced after so many years when they were side by side together. It does not bear thinking about.
“Her daughter Zubair says her mother was at the center of the family. No words are enough to describe the depths of the family’s pain and loss, and nor could they be.
“Whatever Wasim Ahmed had said or done, Ishrat Ahmed had nothing to do with it. She was the lady whose life you took.
“No sentence I can pass will reflect the value of the life that has been lost. That life was infinitely precious.
“No sentence can undo or put right what has been done. Mrs Ahmed had done nothing to induce any loss of control. She was attacked in her own home where she was entitled to feel safe with an ax the defendant had taken there.
“I will pass a concurrent sentence for the offense of wounding Mr Ahmed. It was an attack on a separate victim who feared for his life. That is why he was saying his prayers.”
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In a victim impact statement Zubair Ahmed spoke of the terrible loss the family feels after the death of her mother.
She said: “We miss her so much. The damage that has been caused is immeasurable. There are no words to describe the depths of our pain and loss.
“I have never experienced such feelings of hate as I do towards the man who came into our home and killed our mum. I will never get over it. My life and my family life have been destroyed.”
Afaq Ahmed said: “I do not know where to begin to tell you about this wonderful caring human being who is no longer with us.
Ishrat was my wife of 32 years. She was my best friend, my soulmate, my rock and support system. Losing my wife is like my heart has been ripped out of me, like a void that will never be filled.”
Malik will serve two thirds of his sentence before he is released on license.
Detective Chief Inspector Allen Davies, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: “Ishrat Ahmed was killed in the most brutal fashion and her husband seriously injured at the hands of Mohammed Malik, who had driven to their home address armed with an ax and who proceeded to carry out an attack of savage ferocity.
“My thoughts today remain with the Ahmed family who have behaved with incredible dignity through this court process. I hope that today’s sentence gives them some sense that justice has been served and that they can continue with their lives.”
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