Man found guilty of murdering young Reading woman gets life imprisonment

21/10/2010

A Reading man has today been found guilty by a jury of murdering a young Reading woman who had ended their relationship some six months earlier, after a trial which started on 27 September at Reading Crown Court. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 20 years.

Gulamyr Akhter (19) killed student and part time shop assistant Asha Muneer (18) after following her after she left work at Laura Ashley in the Brunel Centre in South Reading, on 18 January this year.

He stabbed her repeatedly with a kitchen knife and left her body by a riverside path in an underpass next to the A33, just south of Reading. Asha was found by a jogger, who initially thought her mutilated body was a bag of rubbish.

CPS prosecutor Alan Blake said: 'Asha Muneer was a vibrant and popular young woman with her whole life ahead of her. She had ended her relationship with ex-boyfriend Gulamyr Akhter last summer and moved on with her life, but he could not accept this, and harassed her by bombarding her with threatening text messages.

'On January 18 this year, Gulamyr followed Asha after work and stabbed her in a pre-meditated and vicious knife attack, on a cold, dark night in an isolated spot on a riverside path in Reading.

'Gulamyr Akhter can only be described as manipulative and controlling. He lied to Police and gave a false alibi, then sought to cover up his actions by burning his clothes. The evidence was overwhelming there was CCTV footage, witness accounts and mobile phone call and cell site analysis. The CPS had no hesitation therefore in bringing this man before the courts.

It was for the jury to decide his fate and for the judge to determine an appropriate sentence. Our thoughts are now with the family and friends of Asha and their tragic loss. I would also like to commend their resolve and dignity throughout the trial.'

Det Supt Karen Trego, who led the investigation, said: 'This was a determined attack which left a young girl dead and has caused a family to suffer the loss of their much loved daughter.

'Akhter has shown no remorse for killing his former girlfriend and his denials of any involvement has forced Ashas family to endure a lengthy trial.

'Asha's family have maintained a quiet dignity between her death and the trial and they have asked for some privacy to come to terms with what has happened.'