Pregnant newlywed set fire to herself

A PREGNANT newlywed died after setting fire to herself after becoming depressed about her new life in Yorkshire, an inquest heard.

Asia Khan, 23, who was 28 weeks into her pregnancy, was found dead on October 14, last year in the garden of her family home in Bradford by her husband and sister-in-law just eight months after moving to the UK from Pakistan.

Two bottles of turpentine and a box of matches were found near to her body.

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The inquest in Bradford heard yesterday that Mrs Khan believed that her husband, gas engineer Navied Khan, was having a relationship with another woman, which he denied.

The court heard how in the days before her death, Mrs Khan had spoken to her father in Pakistan and told him that she was often left on her own while the family went out and did the shopping. She was also thought to be suffering from a thyroid problem, known to cause bouts of depression.

Giving evidence, Navied Khan, who had been married to Asia for eight months after an arranged marriage in Pakistan, denied having another relationship and said that the couple were looking forward to the arrival of their first baby.

He said: “She was very quiet, and she couldn’t speak any English although she was going to enrol on a course.

“Since she came over here she became very withdrawn and wouldn’t really talk at all, she used to be quite lively but she was a very reserved person at the end.”

The court heard how Asia Khan lived in the small semi-detached house in Cloudsdale Avenue at West Bowling, Bradford, with her mother-in-law, Nagina Bibi, sister-in-law Saima Khan, and her husband.

On the day she died, the two women went out shopping leaving Mrs Khan on her own. When they returned two hours later they were unable to get into the house so called Mr Khan for help.

He climbed over the fence and was able to go through the back door into the house to unlock the front door.

After a short search Mrs Khan’s charred body was found in the long grass at the bottom of the garden.

Det Insp Mark Long said that a full police investigation had ruled out any third party involvement.

He said the police unit had received a number of letters and anonymous phone calls saying that the young woman had been murdered, but inquiries failed to provide any evidence of any third-party involvement.

He added: “During the investigation we had letters and phone calls to suggest this wasn’t an accident and that family members were responsible for holding Asia down.”

Detectives were unable to trace the identity of any of the people who made the allegations, the inquest heard.

Coroner Prof Paul Marks recorded a verdict that Mrs Khan had killed herself.

He said: “I don’t think we will ever know the reasons why this young lady took this course of action, she had previously told her sister-in-law, Samiah, about her cousin in Pakistan who had ended his life in this way, and the circumstances indicate to me that this was not an accident and I am satisfied that she took her own life.”

Next-door neighbour Debbie Gregoire, 40, a housewife, was there when the family found the body. At the time of the incident, she said: “There were no flames, the body was just black and you could see bits of her clothes around.

“I feel sick when I think about it, I can’t get the image out of my head.

“Asia was beautiful, she was quite slight, you could just see the baby bump a bit.

“She was quiet and didn’t speak English but she would talk to her sisters and smile. You only ever saw her in the back garden but she seemed happy and would say hello.”