Page last updated at 10:49 GMT, Monday, 31 August 2009 11:49 UK

Wife murderer given life sentence

Nabeel Khan
Nabeel Khan told the court that he never meant to kill his wife

A man who murdered his wife in an attack in front of her nine-year-old son at their Dundee home has been jailed for a minimum of 15 years.

Nabeel Khan, 44, who admitted the lesser charge of culpable homicide, was convicted of murdering consultant pathologist Dr Iffat Kamal, 39.

He was found guilty after a trial which heard from Dr Kamal's son, Areeb.

The nine-year-old saw Khan crushing his mother's neck in the hallway of their home last December.

The trial heard that Dr Kamal had been screaming and trying to get free.

Khan only stopped his attack after Areeb twice shouted at him to stop, by which time Dr Kamal had lost consciousness.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Khan was given a life sentence.

He was told that he must serve at least 15 years in prison before he can apply for parole.

His trial at the High Court in Perth heard that he put his arm around his wife's neck during an argument at their home in Simpson Court.

This was an unprovoked, persistent attack upon your wife who was smaller, lighter and weaker physically than you
Lord Hardie

Dr Kamal died 10 days later in Ninewells Hospital, where she had worked.

Khan told the trial that he had never meant to kill his wife of three years but had lost his temper. He said he was deeply ashamed of what he had done.

The court heard that the couple's three-year-old son and Areeb, Dr Kamal's son from a previous relationship, were both in the house at the time of the attack.

Khan was convicted of murdering his wife by seizing her throat, compressing it and restricting her breathing until she was unconscious.

Lord Hardie said Dr Kamal seemed to have been a "successful, dedicated pathologist".

He told Khan that allegations he made about her drinking were "no more than an attempt to discredit her and to justify or mitigate your actions in taking her life".

SENTENCING STATEMENT

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He said there were other "more plausible" explanations for the arguments in their marriage.

"Your wife was a professional, successful person who appeared to be the principal breadwinner in the house," he said.

"You had a gambling habit and told a psychiatrist you lost £17,000 in spread betting and also used her credit card for spread betting while she was in India. She was obviously unhappy about that.

"This was an unprovoked, persistent attack upon your wife who was smaller, lighter and weaker physically than you."

Lord Hardie also recommended that Khan be deported if and when he is freed from his sentence.

Update 27 February 2012: Khan's conviction was overturned on appeal in 2010. At a retrial in 2011, he was convicted of culpable homicide.



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