"How do I explain to a three-year-old that her mother has been murdered?"
Mohammed Anhar Ali, aged 32, of Barking, London, was jailed for a minimum of 26 years for killing his wife. The husband killed Nazia Begum Ali after their marriage broke down.
Ali was described as “manipulative and overbearing” towards his 25-year-old wife.
The Old Bailey heard that Mrs Ali wanted herself and her children to live a more Western lifestyle. They rejected Ali’s strict religious rules of what to expect from her.
After their marriage broke down, Ali could not accept it.
It was heard that Ali let himself into his estranged wife’s flat in Bow, London, on October 21, 2018.
He was armed with two knives and hid in a cupboard for 10 hours. Ali waited for their two daughters to go to sleep before attacking Mrs Ali.
The court heard that the couple met soon after Ali arrived in the UK from Bangladesh as a student.
The victim became pregnant after their marriage, but the relationship deteriorated with Ali stating she “needed to be exorcised”.
Ali moved out but “pumped (his children) for information”. He found out that his wife was in a new relationship with someone she knew from childhood.
The former couple spoke in October 2018 where Mrs Ali told her husband that their relationship was over.
On the day of the incident, Ali bought two knives, a scarf, some flex, a door handle and screws. He fixed the screws to the inside of the cupboard to help keep himself hidden.
When Ali jumped out of the cupboard, he punched the victim several times before strangling her to death with the scarf.
A bloodied Ali then covered the body with a white sheet and then got into bed to sleep next to his two children.
The next day, Ali called the police. According to Scotland Yard, officers were greeted by Ali, who was drinking a cup of tea.
He led police to where the body was and admitted to killing his wife but denied murder. Ali then asked officers to be quiet as his two children were sleeping.
Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse QC read a victim impact statement from Janahara Begum, the victim’s mother.
“The day Nazia died was the worst day of our lives. our hearts are broken beyond repair.
“How do I explain to a three-year-old that her mother has been murdered? They will never feel her comfort again.
“Every day when they ask me when their mother will come back from Heaven, my hearts breaks even more.”
Ali’s daughters – now six and three – have “failed to grasp the finality” of the mother’s death.
The youngest one regularly goes “looking for her”, while the eldest daughter “blames herself” for not waking up during the attack.
Bernard Richmond QC said in mitigation that the couple’s relationship was “doomed from the start”.
He said: “(Ali) was a naive young man with a plainly fixed attitude of what to expect of a wife.”
Judge Wendy Joseph QC said: “Ali was a strict Muslim and required of her lifestyle that she found intolerable.
“He could not accept this was sadly, a bad marriage.
“There was evidence of him being manipulating and overbearing towards Nazia.”
“His conduct was fuelled by a failure to accept that Nazia was entitled to leave him, entitled to divorce him, and entitled to live her own life.
“With tragic consequences, he took things into his own hands.”
Ali remained emotionless as he received life imprisonment, to serve at least 26 years before being considered eligible for parole.
Before he was led from the dock, he turned to acknowledge a relative in the public gallery.