A “controlling” husband who brutally knifed to death his heavily pregnant wife and destroyed their unborn baby son has been been sentenced to life imprisonment.
Bradford Crown Court heard that just two days before her murder in June excited mum-of-two Nadia Khan, 24, had been out shopping for baby clothes for her third child, who was due to be born in August.
But the unborn baby’s father Tariq Khan, who was already on bail for a previous assault on his wife, used a teenage relative to get Nadia to let him into her home on Holker Street, Manningham, before launching a ferocious knife attack on her in the kitchen.
The court heard how the first blow to Nadia’s upper back effectively severed her spinal cord and paralysed her leaving her defenceless as the 27-year-old repeatedely stabbed her to the back, chest and abdomen.
Prosecutor Peter Moulson QC said the unborn child, who was about 31-weeks old, suffered four wounds during the attack and it was the Crown’s position that the stab wounds delivered to Nadia’s abdomen were in order to deliberately kill her child.
Bradford-raised Nadia was 17 when she went through an arranged marriage to 19-year-old Khan, but she had spent most of her married life in West Yorkshire while he remained in Pakistan.
Nadia had two children by Khan and he eventually received permission to come to this country in October last year, but on Christmas Day he assaulted her and after she reported the incident to the police a Domestic Violence Protection Order lasting a month was issued.
But only a month before the murder Khan attacked Nadia again and after he was arrested and charged by police with common assault he was given bail with a condition not to contact his wife or go within 100 metres of her Bradford home.
In her police statement Nadia said Khan could be controlling towards her and prone to jealousy.
Three days before he was due to make his first appearance before the magistrates court Khan took a teenage relative with him to Nadia’s home and the Recorder of Bradford Judge Roger Thomas QC said the defendant had been “devious and cunning” in circumventing her fear of him.
Khan had suggested that his wife had initially picked up the knife, but Judge Thomas said that was questionable as there were no defensive injuries on Nadia and the first blow was to her back rather than her front.
“In any event within a very short time of the two of you beginning your whispered conversation in the kitchen you set about Nadia and your unborn son, who she was carrying, with extreme and ferocious violence, using a kitchen knife over and over again and driving it deep into her body and also into the body of your son,” the judge told Khan.
“The prosecution therefore suggest, rightly in my judgement, that not only were you intent on killing Nadia but seemingly you were also specifically intent on destroying her unborn son.
“That is unhappily something that men such as you, who attack their wives, at times do. Destroying the child that she was so pleased to be carrying as some form of further punishment of her.”
After the murder Khan fled the house locking his relative and his two children inside, but he was arrested the next day and last month he pleaded guilty to charges of murder, child destruction and common assault.
After considering submissions and case law Judge Thomas ruled that Khan should serve a minimum prison term of 25 years, less the 118 days he had already spent in custody, before he could even be considered for release by the Parole Board.
The judge noted that although there was only one murder charge the reality was that two lives had been lost and he therefore concluded that the case was one of particularly high seriousness.
Although victim impact statements from Nadia’s mother, brother and sister were not read out in court Judge Thomas said they had described the loss of Nadia as “the worst trauma of their lives”.
“Her mother cries every day. They miss her terribly and of course they now have the responsibility of bringing up your two young children,” the judge told Khan.
“To that end Nadia’s sister has given up her job to help her mother with that task. As for those two children the loss of their mother is an incalculable and truly enormous loss which is beyond any measurement.”