Woman engulfed in Flames says Husband set her on Fire

An inquest heard that a woman who died after suffering severe burns told paramedics her husband set her on fire.

Woman engulfed in Flames says Husband set her on Fire f

"There were so many fights and arguments between them."

An inquest heard that woman told paramedics “her husband threw liquid on her” before “setting her on fire”.

Rochdale Coroner’s Court heard that Nosheen Akhtar died in hospital a day after the incident at her home in Bury on July 23, 2021.

Neighbours had tried to help her after she ran into the street engulfed in flames.

One paramedic who treated Ms Akhtar said she had told her:

“My husband, he did it.”

Amy Bradburn said a colleague had earlier told her that Ms Akhtar had “poured petrol on herself”.

She described Ms Akhtar as having “extensive burns” to her body and said her face “looked as though it had been melted”.

Ms Bradburn’s colleague, Duncan Mayoh, recalled Ms Akhtar “screaming in agony for us to help her”.

While in an ambulance on the way to the hospital, he said Ms Akhtar claimed “her husband had thrown liquid on her and set her on fire”.

Although she had been given morphine, Mr Mayoh said Ms Akhtar did not appear “confused” when she made the claim.

Ms Akhtar was rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital while her husband Waqas Mahmood was treated at the scene for several blister burns to his hand.

While tending to Mr Mahmood, paramedic Dominic Wilson said he appeared “worked up” but was “cooperative”.

He told the inquest: “I asked what had happened and he explained that his wife had poured white spirit on herself and set fire to herself.

“She came into the living room on fire and he set about trying to extinguish the flames using cushions, towels and blankets then picked her up and took her out of the house.”

But the inquest was told that CCTV footage showed Ms Akhtar running out of the house on fire.

She was followed by Mr Mahmood and his brother Hasnain Mahmood, who could both be seen using cushions to try and put the flames out.

Following the incident, investigators found two open bottles containing an accelerant. A lighter was recovered from the living room floor.

Fire investigator Emma Wilson said tests showed the accelerant had likely been poured over Ms Akhtar before the back of her tunic was set on fire.

Damage to a sofa and a throw in the living room suggested Ms Akhtar was standing up when her clothing was set alight before sitting down for “a matter of seconds”.

Ms Wilson said either Ms Akhtar or Mr Mahmood could have set the clothing alight, but Ms Akhtar would have had to “reach around” herself in order to do so.

Ms Wilson added: “It would seem more likely that the wearer would ignite it in an accessible location.

“It’s less likely she would reach around to ignite it at the rear.”

A post-mortem revealed that Ms Akhtar had suffered “widespread burns to her body”.

In a statement, pathologist Dr Philip Lumb gave her cause of death as “burns and inhalation of the products of combustion”.

In the months prior to her death, Ms Akhtar spoke to family members and health professionals about problems in her marriage.

Her mother Zaheera Bibi said her daughter told her that she and her husband regularly argued and was “fed up” about him visiting his ex-wife.

She said: “She used to ring and cry on the phone. There were so many fights and arguments between them.”

After visiting family in Pakistani in 2020, Ms Bibi said her daughter started crying and “seemed worried” about returning to the UK.

She added: “She wanted to make her marriage successful and she wanted to do whatever she could do to save her marriage.”

In February 2021, Ms Akhtar was taken to hospital after taking an overdose. She told medics she had done so following an argument in which Mr Mahmood threatened to leave her.

Dr Afzal Hussain told the inquest that during an appointment, Ms Akhtar claimed she had taken the overdose “in frustration” and accused Mr Mahmood of “neglecting and ignoring” her.

He added:

“The majority of her issues were related to her husband still seeing his ex-wife and children on an almost daily basis.”

During a conversation on July 23, 2021, Ms Bibi said her daughter seemed “in a happy mood”, saying she did not believe she would have set fire to herself.

In a statement, Ms Akhtar’s family described her as “brave” and “good-natured” but said she “kept a lot from the family”.

They said: “Nosheen did not want to show the family that she was stressed.

“She was very nice. She used to take care of us like a mother. She had a good nature and used to think of us all while living in the UK.

“She used to get worried for others and always wanted to do something for them.”

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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