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Cab Driver Murders His Pregnant Wife

Siraj Arif was a former cab driver but he committed a horrific crime and is now serving a life sentence. He murdered pregnant Saiba Khatoon by stabbing her repeatedly with three knives. She was found by her young son Faris and died the following day; she was just 27 years old. The murder happened just weeks after the couple had been married in an Islamic marriage ceremony, Khatoon was Arif’s second wife. He was sentenced to life imprisonment after a trial at Manchester Crown Court and is not eligible for parole for 21 years.

Khatoon’s pregnancy was the catalyst for the violence it seems as it caused issues between Arif, his wives and Khatoon’s family. Arif was defended by Anthony Hayden QC who said that Arif was caught in a pair of complex relationships between the Westernised Khatoon and his traditional wife Nazia. Hayden told the court that his client snapped under pressure and this caused his uncharacteristic violent behaviour.

Khatoon was 19 weeks pregnant when she was murdered according to prosecutor Kim Hollis QC. The couple had dated when they were young but married other people before having an affair back in 2004. This caused Khatoon to end her marriage to a doctor who is the father of Faris. Arif, a cab driver for Joe Baxie’s Taxis in Rochdale managed to persuade his wife Nazia to marry Khatoon as it was allowed by Islamic Law. They were married in December 2011.

The day before the killing, Arif had a huge argument with Nazia over Khatoon’s pregnancy. On 7 May, Khatoon’s sister argued with Nazia which greatly upset her. This was the prelude to the murder which happened on the same day. Faris found her and shouted for help on the street. One of the neighbours responded and found Khatoon lying on the floor with a total of 15 stab wounds and knives strewn all over the floor.

Within hours, Arif called the police twice. On the first occasion, he seemed dazed and confused and during the second call, he admitted stabbing Khatoon after she threatened to kill their unborn baby. Khatoon’s sister, Sara Ali, stated that the entire family was devastated with the news. Khatoon was the eldest of eight children. Sara also spoke of how warm and loving her sister was and how awful it would be for Faris to grow up without his beloved mother.

Judge Michael Henshell gave no consideration to any of Arif’s pleas or excuses and described the incident as a sustained and merciless attack. He also spoke of how lonely Faris would be without a parent to take care of him and the awful damage it may cause him later on in life to have found his mother that way. Judge Henshell then proceeded to sentence Asif to life imprisonment.

Source: menmedia.co.uk