Saturday, 20 December 2008

Mother-in-Law Curry

On 13 January 2004, Zainab Begum, a 56-year-old mother-of-six, was murdered at her home in Accrington.

Scientists discovered her blood in the bedroom, landing and bathroom of her Burnley Road home. They also found a bloody handprint belonging to her son-in-law Muhammed Arshad.

The court heard that Arshad visited his mother-in-law on the day of her death. He claimed that whilst they were both in the kitchen, Zainab rubbed her behind on his knee. He said that this had occurred when she was taking milk from the fridge and could not have happened accidentally. Arshad suggested she had behaved like this on many previous occasions. He also suggested that he had sometimes massaged his mother-in-law and that she would take his hand and place it on her rump.

On the day of Zainab‘s death, whilst Arshad was getting changed in an upstairs bedroom, he said she entered the room naked, adding:

“I became scared. I thought she had gone mad. She embraced me and said: 'Do it once'. I moved her back but she grabbed me again... I pushed her back. She hit herself on the wall. She didn't get up again. I checked her, blowing into her mouth and pressing her chest".
Earlier in the trial, Arshad's estranged wife, Kalsoom Begum, said she went on a shopping trip for tools that would later be used to chop up her mother. Begum, who was six months pregnant when her husband was charged with murder, said the former chef told her he needed them to strip meat from lamb carcasses to make a traditional Pakistani dish at the takeaway. She also described her ex-husband as a money-hungry man who was enthralled by dangerous weapons and never socialised.

Delivery boy, Irfan Ahmed, told the court he was ordered by Arshad to scrub the back yard using an industrial de-greaser on the night of Mrs Begum's disappearance.

At Preston Crown Court, the prosecuting barrister said that Arshad carried out the murder and dismembered Zainab's body with his brother, Mohammed Khan. They then took the parts in plastic bags to a takeaway restaurant they ran together in Accrington. Evidence showed that these had been stored behind the bar.

Zainab's remains have never been found.

Arshad was sentenced to life in prison with a recommendation that he serve a minimum of 24 years. Khan was sentenced to seven years.

‘Body parts?’

‘Dismembered?’ ‘Traditional Pakistani dish?’ ‘Asian restaurant?’

Yum, f***ing yum, eh? Did you have a curry at the Millennium takeaway on Church Street, Accrington, in January 2004?

If you did, mum's the word, eh?

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