Husband guilty of murdering wife in ‘honour’ crime

30/10/2013

A father, who set fire to his house, killing his wife and seriously injuring his three daughters and a family friend, has today been found guilty of murder and arson, but not guilty to the attempted murder of his daughters.

Birmingham Crown Court heard how 56-year-old Mohammed Riaz Inayat deliberately set fire to his house in Sparkhill, Birmingham in the early hours of 17 April 2013 in order to stop his daughter from flying out to Dubai to marry her boyfriend as he believed it would bring dishonour to the family.

His daughter and wife were due to catch a flight to Dubai later that same day where she was going to get married.

While his wife, three daughters and a family friend slept upstairs, the defendant used petrol as an accelerant both upstairs and downstairs in the family home and then set it on fire, trapping his family upstairs.

Neighbours called the emergency services and they tried in vain to rescue the occupants of the house. The three daughters and family friend jumped from the first floor bedroom windows resulting in them suffering broken bones and burns.

When the fire service arrived they entered the house and the found the body of the defendant's wife, Naika Inayat, in one of the upstairs bedrooms. She had died as a result of smoke inhalation.

Following a detailed police and fire service investigation, Mohammed Inayat was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife as well as the attempted murder of his three daughters and arson with intent to endanger life in relation to the family friend staying at the address.

Zafar Siddique, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said:

"Crimes committed to supposedly defend a family's honour will not be tolerated in our society and today's conviction of Mohammed Inayat demonstrates that. Honour based violence and forced marriages are ultimately about men policing the behaviour of women. This can include rights as fundamental as a choice of partner, as in today's case, and this abuse can escalate frighteningly quickly from controlling behaviour to murder.

"Inayat committed a dreadful crime, a crime which he committed because he was unable to accept the fact that his daughter wanted to get married to someone that she loved, cared for and wanted to spend the rest of her life with. This he felt brought dishonour to him and his family, but today's conviction has shown that the shame is his to bear.   

"The CPS will not shy away from tackling honour based violence. It is a fundamental abuse of human rights and should not be tolerated in any civilised society.

"Our thoughts are today with the family and friends of Naika Inayat."