"She told him quite clearly they weren't getting back together"
Shazia Riaz, aged 47, was harassed by her taxi driver husband after she found out about his other family and broke up with him.
Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that Zafar Rahmen, aged 55, of Sheffield, married Shazia in a traditional Islamic ceremony even though he had another wife and five children.
When she found out about his other family, she decided to split up with him.
However, Rahmen then starting sending her malicious messages, set up a blog in an attempt to smear her name and threatened her saying that people were watching her house “12 hours a day”.
It was heard that they met in May 2018 and Rahmen later proposed to her.
Joanne Moore, prosecuting, explained that in June 2018, Ms Riaz found out through one of Rahmen’s friends that he was still married to another woman and had five children.
She said: “They still got married but in June 2019 his first wife became aware of their marriage and Ms Riaz felt she had to get away.
“She then started to receive unwanted calls, emails and voicemails from the defendant and reported the matter to Cheshire Police.
“They included a volume of messages and missed calls on June 21 when the defendant was screaming and shouting at her.
“She told him quite clearly they weren’t getting back together and she was going to block his number.”
Ms Riaz received 20 emails from Rahmen on June 26 and one staff member at her law practice told her that he had been into her office and asked where she was.
“When the victim went away on holiday, on her return there was a birthday card in the gate and she recognised the defendant’s handwriting.
“He attended the address again after she had just got home from a wedding and had not removed her makeup.
“He began to question why she had makeup on but she said it was nothing to do with him and told him to go away.
“However he said: ‘People are watching your gates 12 hours a day – they are after you’.”
“She closed the door and he tried to stop her but he did eventually leave but stood at the gate.
“Later she received a card, hand-written in which he was telling her he wished bad things on her. She returned that letter, addressed it to his wife and sent it back to her.”
Rahmen turned up at her home in July and Ms Riaz told her taxi driver husband that she was calling the police. When she tried to take a picture of him, he ran away.
Ms Riaz had been at a tea cafe with a friend on July 30, 2019, when her ex-husband showed up.
He asked to speak to her through her friend. Shazia started to record him but Rahmen told her friend to stop her recording him and stamped on her phone.
Ms Riaz later used her friend’s phone to contact the police.
In a statement, Ms Riaz said: “Mr Rahmen started a barrage of malicious emails that left me physically and emotionally scarred.
“He drained me with malicious emails and he built a Facebook blog focused on me as he thought his constant attempts to drain me would force me to resume a sexual relationship with him which I wasn’t comfortable with.
“He thought he was above the law and came back more bold each time. I felt I was tense all the time as he focused on me, came to my home and scared my children. I felt threatened and scared by his bully boy behaviour.
“I have not been able to sleep properly and had to lock my drive gate.
“He has a view that woman should bow down to him and because I didn’t agree – he felt he had a duty to break me.”
“I feel imprisoned in my own home and I feel I’m the one who had done something wrong. I have become ill – I am still recovering from a major operation and feel I am having a relapse due to the stress.”
Shazia also stated that his fixation on her has led to her changing both her children’s phone numbers as he contacted them in the past.
She also had to move house to get away from him as he has made her life “a living hell”.
Rahmen pleaded guilty to stalking and criminal damage.
Naila Akhter, mitigating, said: “The messages are all about him wanting contact with her.
“On the last occasion it was very difficult – he cried because of the relationship coming to an end and he was very, very upset.”
Miss Akhter said her client struggled with the relationship coming to an end.
She added: “Over the bank holiday, he was sent a screenshot over Instagram from the complainant where she was in Paris being proposed to by her partner. It isn’t helping his emotional wellbeing.”
Rahmen was told: “A probation officer feels this behaviour as pre-emptive, planned and persistent – a pattern of behaviour which led to the victim having to change her way of life.
“We have noted references to how you feel towards women in particular.”
The Daily Mail reported that Zafar Rahmen was banned from contacting Ms Riaz for two years.
He was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work, pay £170 court costs and attend a course on “building better relationships”.