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Man jailed for the murder of a psychiatrist and her daughter

|News, Violent crime

A husband and wife have been sentenced today (05/10/2021) at Preston Crown Court after two bodies were discovered in Burnley on 1st October 2020.

Shahbaz Khan was jailed for life, with a 34-year minimum term. His wife, Rabia Shahbaz was jailed for 30 months.

Shahbaz Khan 52, pleaded guilty to murdering Dr Saman Sacharvi and her daughter Vian Mangrio and a further offence of arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered. At the point that he entered those guilty pleas, a substantial amount of his trial had already been heard and he had, up to that point, denied all the offences.

Shahbaz Khan’s wife, Rabia Shahbaz 45, was convicted of perverting the course of justice. She gave a signed witness statement to the police in which she sought to provide her husband with an alibi for the time of the offences.

Saman’s mother raised the alarm when her daughter and granddaughter were uncontactable. Police were called to their home address in Burnley where Saman and her 14-year-old daughter Vian were found deceased.

Shahbaz Khan was known to and trusted by both Saman and Vian. On 30th September 2020 he was at their property from approximately midday to approximately 10pm. During that time he murdered both Saman and Vian. He set Vian’s body on fire downstairs and had taken steps to set Saman’s body on fire upstairs. Experts concluded that both were deceased prior to the fire being set and that both had been given diazepam prior to their deaths.

Shahbaz Khan initially denied the offences, then changed his pleas to guilty during the course of the trial. He subsequently made an application to vacate those guilty pleas, on the basis that he was acutely psychiatrically unwell at the time of the trial. During the course of that application he gave a third version of events, that he was unable to remember whether he had or had not committed the offences. That application was refused by the Honourable Mr Justice Goss.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Katie Marsden said: "Dr Saman Sacharvi and her daughter Vian Mangrio moved to the UK from Pakistan to further Vian’s education. They relied heavily on Shahbaz Khan and Rabia Shahbaz to build their life in this country and that trust was breached in the worst way imaginable.

"Saman and Vian’s family have shown enormous courage and dignity throughout these very difficult legal proceedings and my thoughts are with them at this incredibly difficult time.”

Notes to editors

  • Katie Marsden is a Senior Crown Prosecutor at North West Crown Prosecution Service

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