By: Kimberly Rodrigues
Mohammed Taroos Khan has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for murdering his niece, 20-year-old Somaiya Begum, who refused to marry a man in Pakistan.
The attack occurred at her home in Bradford, West Yorkshire on 25 June 2022, and Khan then disposed of her body on waste ground. Her decomposed remains were discovered 11 days later.
Begum lived with her grandmother and another uncle under a forced marriage protection order after her father attempted to force her to marry a cousin in Pakistan using threats of violence.
Khan, who was forbidden from visiting the house due to a restraining order obtained after he threatened his daughter with a knife, murdered Begum.
The order extended to cover his mother, daughter, and the address where Begum lived.
Begum had reported the situation to authorities in Bradford when she was promised to someone against her wishes at the age of 16.
Despite sentencing Khan, 53, to life in prison on Wednesday (15) Justice Garnham stated that there was no clear motive for the attack on Begum and that it was impossible to determine whether it was part of a larger family arrangement.
He told Bradford crown court, “All that matters for present purposes is that the jury have found you guilty of the heinous crime of murder.
“I decline to speculate on your motive and I reject the prosecution’s suggestion that I should treat this as any form of so-called honour killing.”
Khan was chastised by Garnham for unlawfully disposing of Somaiya’s body, which was considered one of the serious aggravating factors leading to the increase of his sentence from a starting point of 15 years.
Khan had kept Begum’s body in a shipping container overnight before searching for a location to dispose of it.
While passing the sentence, the judge told Khan who was found guilty of murder on Tuesday (14) that he would be an old man before he is eligible for parole.
Khan was also sentenced to five years for perverting the course of justice. And though he tried to speak to the judge after the sentencing he was told he couldn’t.