Police ‘not to blame’ for wife murder

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Imran Iqbal jailed for life for murdering estranged wife

AN investigation into the contact between West Midlands Police and a Dudley mother weeks before she was murdered by her husband has found no failings by the force.

Yasmin Akhtar, 24, died last November after she was attacked by her husband Imran Iqbal with a metal weightlifting bar.

Iqbal. 27, was jailed for life on Tuesday at Wolverhampton Crown Court after a jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict after just three hours of deliberation.

He was told he would serve a minimum tariff of 16 years.

The case was referred to The Independent Police Complaints Commission after it emerged Mrs Akhtar had been in contact with officers from West Midlands Police concerning domestic violence in the weeks before her murder.

The investigation found officers responded to a report of domestic violence on 13 October 2009, following which a number of measures to try and minimise the risk to Mrs Akhtar were taken.

The mother of three was identified at ‘very high risk’ and was offered the chance to move into a refuge, but she declined.

A panic alarm was installed in her home but when police visited Mrs Akhtar six days before she was murdered they found she had invited her husband to move back into the family home to look after their three children while she attended college. As a result a decision was made by the Public Protection Unit to remove the alarm.

IPCC Commissioner for West Midlands, Len Jackson, said: “This is a very sad and disturbing case. It is clear that Mrs Akhtar did not appreciate that she and her children were at risk, despite the advice she received from the police and other supporting agencies.

“The officers involved did all they could to support Mrs Akhtar and I attach no responsibility to them for the very distressing outcome.”

Speaking after the verdict Yasmin’s heartbroken family said she would “never be forgotten.”

“This verdict can never bring Yasmin back to us, but it offers some comfort to know that Imran has been convicted and will face a long time in jail for what he has done,” the family said in a statement.

“As a family we have been thrust into a world where we have had to learn about the criminal justice system and get used to seeing the inside of a courtroom, which is something we would have preferred to live our lives without.

“What we have heard during this trial about Yasmin and her life has been distressing and upsetting, and we struggle to believe some of the things that have been said about her.

“Imran has taken away a mother to three young children, our daughter and our sister. She will never be forgotten and we will make sure her children grow up with the memory of her.”

Senior investigating officer for West Midlands Police, Inspector Richard Jones added: “This was a distressing and difficult case to investigate, and I am pleased that Yasmin’s family and friends have seen justice done.

“Iqbal’s act has left three young children without a mother, and as a result they will also be without a father, as he faces a lengthy jail term.

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