[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 16:58 GMT
Man convicted of murdering family
Uzma Rahan, Abbas Arshad, Adam Arshad and Henna Arshad
Uzma Rahan and her three children were found dead in the house
A man has been jailed for life after being found guilty of murdering his wife and three children.

Rahan Arshad, 36, beat his family to death with a rounders bat at their home in Cheadle Hulme, Greater Manchester, before fleeing to Thailand last July.

The bodies of Uzma Rahan, 32, and children Adam, 11, Abbas, eight, and Henna, six, were not found for a month.

The court was told Arshad may have been motivated by jealousy after discovering his wife was having an affair.

Arshad, of Turves Road, had denied four counts of murder but was convicted by a jury at Manchester Crown Court.

They did not believe the taxi driver's claim he had killed his wife after arriving home to find she had bludgeoned their children.

Mr Justice David Clarke sentenced Arshad to life imprisonment and said that in this case, life "meant life".

Rahan Arshad, pic courtesy of GMP
The only time he has ever shown any remorse for what he did was when he first got off the plane from Thailand
Det Supt Martin Bottomley

Uzma's mother and two brothers were in the public gallery beside friends and other relatives as the verdicts came in.

Her brother, Rahat Ali, shouted "Yes" as the jury convicted Arshad.

Describing the murders as "brutal and horrific", the judge said Arshad had been convicted on "overwhelming evidence"

"You killed your entire family in circumstances of great brutality," said Mr Justice Clarke.

"You beat your wife to death in her bedroom and then coldly and deliberately you brought your sleepy children downstairs to meet their deaths.

"There is no suggestion of mental illness on your part. Life imprisonment in your case means life."

During his trial, the jury heard how Arshad battered Uzma with more than 23 blows in their bedroom before beating his children to death in their playroom.

Their bodies were so badly decomposed that police needed dental records to confirm their identities.

He had planned the murders in advance, buying the rounders bat the day before and booking his ticket to Thailand more than two weeks earlier.

Arshad had told his family he was taking them on holiday to Dubai.

Adam Arshad, Henna Arshad and Uzma Arshad. Pic courtesy of GMP
Their bodies were in the house for almost a month

It meant family, friends and neighbours assumed Uzma and her children were on holiday when they were in fact lying dead in the house.

Police found their decomposed bodies on 20 August 2006.

After detectives tracked him down in Thailand, he confessed to their murders moments after he was flown back to the UK.

When arrested he told officers: "I confess to the murder. My beautiful kids, I don't regret killing that bitch, but my kids, killing my kids..."

But he later refused to answer police questions, claiming his wife had beaten the children to death and he had killed her.

Speaking after the hearing, Det Supt Martin Bottomley, who led the investigation, said: "This is one of the most brutal and devastating murders I have ever dealt with.

"Many of us have children, which makes the brutality he used to kill his own children even harder to comprehend.

"The only time he has ever shown any remorse for what he did was when he first got off the plane from Thailand.

"We will probably never know why Arshad committed this awful crime, unless he chooses to tell us."

Family's ordeal

Mr Bottomley then read a statement on behalf of Uzma's brother, Rahat Ali, and the rest of her family.

It read: "No one can heal the grief we have suffered. Uzma was my best friend, our beloved sister and beautiful daughter.

"My mother can't understand how he could destroy them.

"This should be a peaceful time for my mum but instead she's been forced to suffer an unthinkable ordeal.

"I am glad this man will never get out of prison. The judge made a brilliant decision. A person like this should never be freed."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Home video of the Arshad family



SEE ALSO
Killer father 'must explain why'
13 Mar 07 |  Manchester
Man 'cannot recall' killing wife
08 Mar 07 |  Manchester
Wife of accused 'killed children'
07 Mar 07 |  Manchester
Murder accused 'found love texts'
28 Feb 07 |  Manchester
Father 'clubbed family to death'
27 Feb 07 |  Manchester



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific