Tue, 10 Jul 2012
FOUR relatives face life sentences for killing a pregnant woman they believed was possessed by an “evil spirit”.
Naila Mumtaz’s husband, parents-in-law and brother-in-law were all convicted of her murder at Birmingham Crown Court today.
The 21-year-old’s husband Mohammed collapsed in the dock as the jury’s verdicts were returned.
The three-month trial previously heard Mrs Mumtaz was found by paramedics “grey, ashen and lifeless” at her home in Craythorne Avenue, Handsworth Wood, at 4.30am on July 9, 2009. She was six months’ pregnant.
Christopher Hotten QC, prosecuting, said family members believed Mrs Mumtaz, who had arrived in Birmingham two years earlier from Pakistan, was “possessed” by Muslim evil spirits known as Jinns.
He said she had been smothered by all four defendants – Mohammed, 27, his parents Zia Ul-Haq and Salma Aslam, both 51, and his 24-year-old brother Hammad Hassan.
The court heard that Mumtaz was a 27-year-old former University of Wolverhampton student. His parents are 51 and his brother 24.
After the verdicts, Det Insp Simon Astle said: “This was a tragic and deeply upsetting case, where a young woman had her life so horrifically ended by those she loved and trusted.
“Naila was a pretty, outgoing young woman who was soon to become a mother for the first time.
“It is unthinkable that those she was closest to would take her life in the belief that she had been possessed by evil spirits.”
Her family said in a statement: “Naila was a happy, confident and beautiful young woman.
“She came to Britain to be with her husband. We entrusted our most treasured, beloved only daughter to him and his family.”
Mr Justice Keith adjourned sentence on all four, who were remanded in custody, for reports to be prepared.