Page last updated at 19:01 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

Wife killer's jail term increased

Sughra Rani (pic: TVP)
Sughra Rani's body was found by police

A man jailed for life for stabbing his wife to death has had his minimum jail term increased after new evidence showing their children saw the attack.

Sughra Rani, 30, was stabbed to death at their house in Banbury in 2008.

The judge was told that the couple's children, aged six and four, had told their carers they had seen and tried to protect their mother during the attack.

Mohammed Rashid, 35, was given an extra two years in jail before parole - 15 years two months in total.

Judge Julian Hall described it as "a troubling case".

Rashid had previously claimed he had protected his children from the act.

But a probation worker wrote to the judge with evidence from the childrens' foster carers.

Mohammed Rashid
Rashid claimed he had protected his children from seeing the attack

The children told their carers they had heard a noise and gone downstairs.

They said the six-year-old son had tried to protect his mother and got blood on his clothes.

Rashid's four-year-old daughter referred to her brother as "having blood on his tummy because he'd tried to hug their mum".

Judge Julian Hall said to Rashid: "In the original evidence in original sentencing it was stated that the children were both upstairs at the time of the killing.

"I find as a fact and beyond doubt that what your daughter said was true.

"I find as fact that the children were downstairs at some point during the attack on your wife. I am certain that I sentenced on a false basis."

'Ferocious attack'

Police had found bloodstained clothes belonging to the boy in the house after the murder.

Rashid told officers he had gone upstairs and hugged his son after killing his wife.

Judge Hall said he did not believe that a man who had welded a knife against his wife would not realise that he was bloodstained.

Det Ch Insp Colin Seaton said: "The judge has come to the decision that he previously sentenced under incorrect circumstances and that Rashid deliberately gave false information and misled the court.

"This was a ferocious and brutal attack and the extra time on the minimum sentence that he must spend in prison reflects the additional information placed before the judge and the trauma suffered by others as a result of his actions."

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