Habibur Masum: Hunt for suspect after mother killed in street spreads across northern England

A hunt is continuing across northern England for a man wanted for killing a young mother who was stabbed in the neck as she pushed her baby in pram in the street.

Officers in West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire are hunting for Habibur Masum, who is suspected of the murder of 27-year-old Kulsuma Akter in Bradford, as it emerged that he is on bail after being accused of assaulting and threatening to kill her.

Witnesses described horrific scenes after Ms Akter was stabbed several times in the Westgate area of Bradford city centre on Saturday afternoon.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Masum, 25, was conditionally bailed by Manchester Magistrates’ Court in November, despite prosecutors objecting to his release, the PA news agency understands.

Habibur Masum is wanted on suspicion of murder. Picture: WYPHabibur Masum is wanted on suspicion of murder. Picture: WYP
Habibur Masum is wanted on suspicion of murder. Picture: WYP

He pleaded not guilty to both offences at a hearing on November 27 and was ordered not to contact Ms Akter, it is understood.

His bail conditions also prevented him from contacting a second person, or visiting a particular address.

Court documents show that Masum, whose address was listed as Oldham, Greater Manchester, was charged with threatening to kill Ms Akter on November 24 and assaulting her on November 23. Both offences were alleged to have happened in Manchester.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

People living near the scene of the attack, at the junction of Wigan Street and Westgate in Bradford, said they saw her in local shops and believed she had moved to the area from Oldham a few weeks before.

West Yorkshire Police and Greater Manchester Police have referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog over previous contact with Masum and Ms Akter.

Police had previously confirmed the couple were known to each other.

On Monday, West Yorkshire’s Assistant Chief Constable Damien Miller told a press conference that Masum was last seen on Saturday, getting off a bus before walking in the direction of Bradford Moor Park.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Miller said a 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender after raids were carried out in Burnley, Oldham and Chester.

Renewing his appeal to the public for information on the suspect, Mr Miller said: “I believe him to still be in the country at this moment in time.”

Police said anyone who sees Masum should call 999 “as a matter of urgency”.

Officers were called to the scene in the West Yorkshire city at 3.21pm on Saturday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Bespoke tailor Imran Khan described how he and a teenage employee tried to help Ms Akter, who was attacked across the road from his shop.

He told PA: “When I saw the police taking the empty pushchair in the back of the police van, that’s what got me. It’s sad seeing something like that. You don’t wish it on anyone.

“I think everyone’s shocked – especially with a young woman.

“How can someone do that to another human being?”

People working in the area said they believed Ms Akter was of Bangladeshi origin.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Shopkeeper Geo Khan said: “She was a very attractive, nice person. Friendly. Smiling all the time. There was no stress on her face.

“It’s too young. What can you say?

“I just can’t take it. She was such a nice lady. All the time with a smile on her face.”

Mr Khan added: “She told me she had an argument with her family and she was living separate.”

Masum, who reportedly fled the scene, was last seen on Saturday at 3.30pm when he was captured on CCTV getting on a bus in Market Street, before getting off at 3.42pm on Killinghall Road and walking towards Bradford Moor Park.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

His Facebook page says he is from Sylhet, Bangladesh, and he is believed to have come to the UK on a student visa, and later a postgraduate visa after he obtained his degree.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he studied for a masters in marketing and digital marketing at the University of Bedfordshire between 2021 and 2023.

His social media videos show him picking out clothes for children and adults in Primark, building baby furniture and flying to Europe.

Days before the attack, he posted a picture of him posing with a woman and baby beneath a sign that reads “love”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On September 26 last year, he shared a photo holding a newborn in his arms in a hospital, with the caption: “I have become the father of a Son. Both mother and child are alright now. Pray for my baby boy.”