Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 19:46 UK

Killing 'could have been stopped'

Halimah Ahmed
A trust has been set up in memory of Halimah Ahmed

The death of a 19-year-old woman suffocated by a mental health patient could have been stopped, a coroner has ruled.

Khalid Peshawan, 33, killed Halimah Ahmed at his Derby home in November 2007 before hanging himself.

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter said mental health professionals should have properly assessed Mr Peshawan.

It also emerged that in 2005 the former asylum seeker was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, despite a stabbing conviction two years earlier.

Halimah remains and has always been a source of inspiration for us
Ashtiaq Ahmed, victim's father

Derbyshire Mental Health Trust said it would review the coroner's findings.

Mr Peshawan had told friends life "was not worth living" and he felt suicidal because he could not continue a relationship with the woman he loved.

Mr Peshawan failed to be fully assessed for possible detention under the Mental Health Act on three separate occasions.

It was either because a social worker was unavailable or Mr Peshawan could not be found, the court heard.

Just a few days before Miss Ahmed was killed, community psychiatric nurse Karen Stone assessed Mr Peshawan, an Iraqi Kurd, as a "significant risk to others".

She said he had talked of harming himself.

Refused asylum

Summing up, Dr Hunter said "on the balance of probabilities", the events of 26 November could have been avoided had a full assessment of Mr Peshawan been carried out.

Miss Ahmed's father, Ashtiaq Ahmed, said he hoped the findings would prevent anything similar happening again.

Speaking after the inquest, he said: "Halimah remains and has always been a source of inspiration for us.

"Her vision will be realised through the Halimah Trust."

Mr Peshawan was refused asylum in 2000.

In 2003 he was convicted of stabbing someone outside a nightclub and given a community service order.

But in 2005 he was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, the hearing was told.


A coroner has criticised mental health professionals after two people died in Derbyshire.

Double death man 'was suicidal'
09 Oct 08 |  Derbyshire
Fund set up in dead girl's memory
02 Jan 08 |  Derbyshire

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