Man fatally stabs mother-in-law after she helped her daughter flee their arranged marriage
46-year-old Rahman Begum of Rochdale, Manchester, had been allegedly stabbed by her 31-year-old son-in-law, Muhammad Tafham, at her own home
A jury heard that one mother helped her daughter flee from an arranged marriage and told her "don't ruin your life, go live it" a night before she was allegedly stabbed to death by her furious son-in-law. Forty six-year-old Rahman Begum of Rochdale, Manchester, was allegedly stabbed by her 31-year-old son-in-law, Muhammad Tafham, at her own home after he found that his wife had left him to go stay with her long-term boyfriend.
A trial that was held at the Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard how the mother's body was found by one of the relatives lying on the kitchen floor in her home at around lunchtime on February 7, 2018. Begum, who is a mother-of-five, was found with blood pooled around her and with a knife in her hand. The paramedics pronounced her dead when they arrived at her home.
A post-mortem exam that was conducted on the body revealed that she had died from three major stab wounds to the front. One of the stab wounds had managed to go right through her breastbone and stab her in the heart. Her 25-year-old daughter, Aysha, had continued dating her long-term boyfriend even though she legally entered an arranged marriage with Tafham, a cousin of hers from her father's side. Tafham had moved to the UK to live with her in September 2016, the Daily Mail reported.
The jury also heard how the newly-wed couple had to live together for three years so that Tafham, who is a dairy worker, would be able to stay on in the country. Unfortunately, the couple constantly argued and Aysha had asked him for a divorce after some time. Tafham refused the divorce request. Aysha went to Bradford to live with her boyfriend, Malik, after her mother tricked Tafham into leaving the home for some time. Aysha managed to quickly gather all her belongings into garbage bags and drove away with her boyfriend. Begum was found dead in her apartment three days later.
The court heard that Tafham had killed Begum because he was furious over what she had done and he had put the 12-inch blade in her hand to make it look like she committed suicide. Aysha told the investigators that her mother would not kill herself. She said: "She would not do something like that." She also said that her father, Gulraiz Sharif, did not support her relationship with her boyfriend, and that the only reason why she agreed to marry Tafham was to make her father happy.
Aysha said: "I wouldn't tell him where I was staying and he said, 'I am going to come and grab you. I am going to show you who I am. He always used to say, 'I have got a feeling someone is going to get killed out of your family'." When the young woman was packing up her clothes, her mother reportedly looked at Malik and said: "Look after my daughter." and had reportedly told her after that: "Don't ruin your life, go live it."
Aysha appeared in court to give evidence on August 9 and said that she had a big falling out with her father because she was living away from Tafham. She said, however, that her mother had never asked her to stay with him. Prosecutor Andrew Thomas QC asked her: "Did your mother ever say you were bringing shame to the family?" She replied: "She said wherever my daughters are happy I'm happy."
The court also heard that Begum had complained to her general physician in November last year that she had been feeling quite down in her mood but she did not have any formal diagnosis of depression or other psychiatric disorders. Dr. Charles Wilson, the pathologist, told the jury in the court that he believed that some "severe force" would have been used to cause such a stab wound that went right through her breastbone. He also added for Begum to cause that level of damage herself would have been "very difficult" but that it was not "technically impossible".
Tafham still denied the murder and the trial is expected to continue.