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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 February 2008, 19:41 GMT
Family guilty of allowing murder
Sabia Rani
Sabia Rani was subjected to sustained abuse
A family have been found guilty of allowing the death of a young woman in their house in Leeds.

Sabia Rani, 19, was killed by Shazad Khan. He was jailed for life for her murder in January 2007.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court heard Ms Rani suffered serious tissue damage after being beaten over several weeks.

Four of Khan's relatives, including his mother, were found guilty of allowing the death of a vulnerable adult. It is the first such case in West Yorkshire.

The relatives are Khan's mother Phullan Bibi, 52, two of his sisters, Uzma Khan, 23, and Nazia Naureen, 28, and her husband Majid Hussain, also 28.

The family all lived in the same house as the couple in Oakwood Grange, Roundhay.

'Evil spirits'

As the verdicts were delivered, the sisters started wailing and hugged each other before screaming: "Not guilty! Not guilty!"

The jury of five men and seven women heard Ms Rani had been in severe pain and very ill in the weeks before her death in May 2006.

Prosecutor Simon Myerson QC said the defendants blamed her injuries on evil spirits and curses.

Shazad Khan
Khan was jailed for a minimum of 15 years

Ms Rani had been brought up in rural Pakistan and did not speak English.

She came to England five months before she died and was not allowed out of the house without a member of her husband's family.

After her death, pathologist Christopher Milroy described her injuries as being similar to those suffered by someone in a serious road accident.

Mr Myerson told the jury each defendant must have known Ms Rani was in pain and that Khan must have been the cause of this pain.

Warning to others

Judge James Stewart QC will decide later when to sentence the four defendants.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the defendants were the first in West Yorkshire to be convicted of allowing the death of a vulnerable adult and among the first in the country.

Malcolm Taylor, of CPS West Yorkshire's Complex Casework Unit, said: "Sabia Rani was the victim of horrific violence at the hands of her husband whilst her family, as the jury found, chose to do nothing to help her.

"The message must be that if families or other people with a duty to look after those who need protection deliberately choose not to do so, their neglect will not be ignored by the law enforcement agencies, and prosecution will follow."

Det Supt Steve Fear said: "Sabia came to this country to join her husband and his family. As a young woman in a new country, Sabia should have had the support of the people that have today been convicted.

"As the evidence has shown, the people Sabia should have been able to depend on knew her husband was inflicting continuous pain on her."



SEE ALSO
Man jailed over bride's murder
11 Jan 07 |  West Yorkshire

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