“I don’t know how any human being can do that"
Shahbaz Khan, aged 52, of Burnley, was jailed for life after murdered a doctor and her teenage daughter in “a brutal, shocking attack”.
The bodies of Dr Saman Mir Sacharvi and 14-year-old Vian Mangrio were discovered at their fire-damaged home in Burnley on October 1, 2020.
Preston Crown Court heard that Khan strangled Dr Sacharvi and attacked her daughter when she returned from school.
Both victims were drugged with diazepam.
Vian’s severely burned body was found in the lounge while an attempt to set Dr Sacharvi’s body alight had been made in an upstairs bedroom.
Khan was arrested after CCTV footage from September 30, 2020, showed him visiting the house, where he had previously carried out work including a garage conversion.
Police later found jewellery worth around £27,000 belonging to the doctor in the loft of Khan’s home.
Police also recovered a phone that contained Google searches on the morning of September 30 for “obsessed” and “define obsessed”.
Following his arrest, he claimed that two spirits (jinns) had committed the murders.
The court heard that Khan scrawled “my mum is evil” and “this is a Covid house” on the walls at the house purporting to have been written by Vian to show hostility towards her mother and to suggest she killed her before taking her own life.
Khan initially denied any responsibility before changing his pleas to guilty to murder. He also admitted one count of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
The court heard that both victims trusted Khan like a family member.
Khan knew they had been alone in the house from December 2019 when Dr Sacharvi’s second husband returned to Pakistan.
Dr Sacharvi’s family said she moved to the UK from Pakistan in 2017 with the intention of giving Vian a better life.
She had chosen a job with less pay so she could spend more time with her daughter who was her best friend, her family added.
In a statement, Vian’s father Shaukat Mangrio said:
“She was the star in my eyes and the warmth in my heart. My daughter was beautiful inside and out.
“She was an intelligent high-achiever who aspired to be a barrister one day. She talked about studying at Cambridge University. Sadly this day will never come.
“I am unable to express how her sudden death has deeply wounded and disturbed me mentally. I now have no purpose in life. I feel it is a chore even to breathe now.”
The doctor’s husband, Wahid Bux Shaikh said:
“I don’t know how any human being can do that to another, and then to put the family through the torture of a trial is awful.”
Mr Justice Goss told Khan: “These were premeditated, callous and merciless murders of a devoted mother and her loving, teenage daughter.
“They were planned and determined in their execution.
You set about your preparations with care and I have no doubt you were motivated by financial gain.”
“By your actions, Shahbaz Khan, a family has lost two loved members whose lives were taken in the most dreadful way.
“Nothing this court can do is able to undo what you have done and the appalling and tragic consequences of what happened.”
Khan’s wife, Rabia Shahbaz, was convicted of perverting the course of justice when she provided a false alibi for her husband.
Mr Goss said her lies were “deliberate and calculated” in attempting to protect her husband.
He noted her pre-sentence report which said she continued to deny her guilt and had an “unwavering loyalty” to Khan.
Shahbaz was jailed for 30 months.
Khan was jailed for life and must serve a minimum of 34 years.