LONDON,(Reuters) – The father of a Kurdish woman tortured, raped and murdered in a “barbaric and callous” honour killing in Britain was jailed for at least 20 years on Friday.
Banaz Mahmod’s father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and her uncle Ari Mahmod, 51, who received a 23-year minimum sentence, were found guilty of murder last month.
A third man, Mohamad Hama, 31, pleaded guilty to murder and will spend at least 17 years in jail.
The 20-year-old was raped and garrotted during an ordeal lasting more than 2-1/2 hours at her family home in south London last year. She had told police four times she feared for her life after falling in love with a man of whom her family disapproved, but her claims were not taken seriously, the court heard.
Sentencing the three at London’s Old Bailey, Judge Brian Barker said: “This offence was designed to carry a wider message to the ommunity to discourage legal behaviour of girls and women in this country. “Having endured a short and unhappy marriage she made the mistake of falling in love with a Kurdish man that you and your community thought was unsuitable. “So, to restore your so-called family honour you decided she should die and her memory be erased. This was a barbaric and a callous crime.”
The court had heard how she angered her family after walking out of an abusive arranged marriage which she entered aged 17. She fell in love with an Iranian Kurd, Rahmat Suleimani, 28, meeting him in secret and swapping messages several times a day.
Members of her family and several family friends plotted her murder. Hama carried out the killing and arranged for the body to be buried in a suitcase six feet beneath a house in Birmingham.
Detectives were led to Birmingham after checking suspects’ telephone records and fitting a tracker device to a hire car that Hama was driving.