Life for brutal wife killer

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A LEEDS man who savagely beat and killed his Pakistani wife has been jailed for a minimum of 15 years by a judge who described his actions as ‘unmerciful’.

Shahzad Khan subjected his 19-year-old wife, Sabia Rani to horrendous beatings in the last three weeks of her life.

Her lifeless body, riddled with repeated rib fractures and intensive tissue damage, was found in the bathroom of the home she shared with her husband and his family in the Roundhay area of Leeds.

Her injuries were so bad a Home Office pathologist likened them to that of car crash victims and said they were the worst he had come across in his career, Leeds Crown Court heard.

During the trial, the court heard Khan had married the 19-year-old after meeting her four years earlier in a remote village in the Mirpur district of Pakistan.

Sabia flew into the UK in December 2005 and moved into the Leeds home occupied by Khan and his family.

But less than five months later she was dead after Khan inflicted three weeks of savage beatings on her.

The court was told Khan’s family did nothing to stop the beatings and had been told by a holy man in Bradford that Sabia was possessed by an evil spirit.

The Recorder of Leeds Judge Norman Jones QC said: “It is clear, from the jury’s verdict, that the suggestion you and your family made that Sabia had somehow or other been possessed by spirits has been wholly rejected.

“The jury has also clearly rejected the fact that other people in the house may have caused her death.

“The responsibility is yours – although I am quite satisfied most others in the house must have known what was happening and took little action to protect this young girl.

“You beat her unmercifully. I don’t propose to go through the injuries she suffered but one of the most experienced pathologists in the country had never seen anything like her injuries those inflicted on her in the whole of his career.”

Judge Jones also said Khan’s family must have known what was going on.

“I say no more, at this stage, but I hope the necessary inquiries have been made or will be made,” he said.

Det Sup Steve Fear, from West Yorkshire Police, said the case was “one of the worst examples of domestic abuse”, he had seen.

“Sabia Rani was subjected to sustained and systematic abuse over a long period of time in her own home, a home which was little more than a prison to her.

“Shahzad Khan’s conviction sends a strong message to abusers that we will make every effort to ensure you are convicted of your crime.

“I hope it also encourages other victims of domestic violence not to suffer in silence but to come forward and speak to those who can help them.”

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