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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 July, 2004, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
The father who murdered his son
Shahajan Kabir
Kabir had spoken of suicide before killing his young son
Shahajan Kabir has begun a life sentence after being found guilty of murdering his baby son.

He entered the UK illegally in 1996 and sought political asylum having left Bangladesh.

Kabir then settled in Carlisle and while working as a chef at an Indian takeaway he met Lorna Martin.

After the birth of baby Hassan, the couple separated and Kabir was awaiting deportation as an illegal immigrant.

It was always 40-year-old Kabir's defence that pressures surrounding his future contributed to the attack which claimed 10-month-old Hassan's life.

During the seven-day trial of Kabir at Carlisle Crown Court, the jury heard how he had talked of suicide prior to the death of his son.

Miss Martin and Kabir split up, but Kabir still had access to Hassan although he only saw him once a week.

'Desperate' to see son

Access was then stopped in September 2003 when Kabir attacked the house where Miss Martin lived with her mother and Hassan.

But on 14 October, 2003, Kabir tracked down Hassan, his mother and grandmother and tried to snatch his son.

Voluntary immigration worker Margaret White described how she later spoke to a depressed man who was "desperate" to see his son.

Greggs - scene of stabbing
Flowers were left outside Greggs following the stabbing
She told the jury he had talked of dying just hours before the incident in Greggs bakers, which saw Hassan's throat slashed.

Miss Martin and her mother said they had seen Kabir "smiling" as he attacked baby Hassan with a knife hidden in a plastic bag.

In evidence, Hassan's grandmother Pauline Martin, 41, said: "I saw Kabir outside the shop out of the corner of my eye. He came into the shop and I was a little bit nervous because I wasn't expecting him.

"He grabbed hold of the pushchair and said he wanted to see his son. He looked mad. He looked mad and very, very angry.

"Then he opened his jacket pocket and took out a white carrier bag with newspapers in it. The knife was in the newspapers."

'Tug of war'

At one point the trial was halted after Kabir broke under cross-examination, shouting: "I am accepting. Give me my punishment now."

Dr Christopher Green, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, told the court Kabir suffered from a "depressive disorder" because of immigration and family problems at the time of Hassan's death.

Hassan Dominic Martin
Baby Hassan suffered knife wounds to the neck
But the jury eventually agreed there was not enough evidence to back the argument that Kabir's mind was substantially impaired.

Kabir, 40, was denied political asylum on 20 September, 2003, and was due to be deported from the UK, where he had lived as an illegal immigrant since 1996.

He had a six-month visa, but when it expired Kabir went to ground in Carlisle working as a tandoori chef at takeaways in the city.

He remained undetected by the immigration authorities until 1999 when he handed himself into Workington police station in Cumbria seeking political asylum.

But he disappeared again and when he met Miss Martin in 1999 he asked if she would marry him and have his children.

Criminal damage

He was arrested by chance on 1 May, 2002, by Immigration Service officials when they raided the Indian Spice takeaway where he worked.

Kabir again applied for political asylum and his application was supported by Miss Martin, who was now pregnant with Hassan.

Kabir was bailed on 8 October, 2002, and returned to Carlisle while his application for political asylum was considered.

Hassan was born on 6 December, 2002, but Kabir split with Miss Martin and on 14 April, 2003, Kabir was told to leave the Martin household.

On 27 August, 2003, he attacked the Martins' home and broke a window.

He was arrested, and on 2 September, 2003, was convicted of criminal damage. He was fined 150 and given a six-month conditional discharge.

Baby death father denies murder
19 Jul 04  |  Cumbria

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