Yes! were the cries from Ms Riaz’s family in Manchesters Crown Courts public gallery as the guilty verdict was readout. Mohammed Choudhry, 36, stabbed his 33-year-old wife Saima Riaz to death at their home in Smallbridge, Rochdale.
The court was told that the jealous and controlling husband had become ‘consumed with anger and resentment’ after learning his wife had an affair. The guilty verdict was confirmed this afternoon. Choudhry stabbed his wife more than 75 times. She suffered ‘particularly severe’ cuts to her neck ‘suggesting an attempt at decapitation’, prosecutors said.
At his Manchester Crown Court trial, Choudhry – who was not in the dock to hear some grim details of his wife’s death during the trial – claimed to have no memory of the horrific attack. Reports MEN news.
He said: “Why would I do something like that? I loved her.” The jury took less than 20 minutes to unanimously found Choudhry guilty of murder.
After forcing down the door of their home, police found Choudhry stood over his lifeless wife in blood-stained boxer shorts. Ms Riaz, a mental health nurse at the Royal Oldham Hospital, had told others she was ‘afraid’ of her husband, and that he had assaulted and threatened her.
Choudhry, who has a ‘depressive illness’ and has been undergoing treatment at the Edenfield Centre in Prestwich, claimed to have no memory of the killing. Manchester Crown Court heard that Choudhry learned of his wife’s affair after being told by his brother.
He had found out after gaining access to her messaging accounts. Ms Riaz had been ‘dissatisfied’ at life with her husband and had fallen in love with another man. The pair had been married for 13 years under Islamic law, but weren’t formally married in UK law.
In December 2018 she was told to go to a ‘family meeting’, where she was presented with evidence of the affair. She was ‘taunted and humiliated’ by members of Mr Choudhry’s family at the meeting, prosecutors said.
Choudhry was not told of the affair, but his brother began to ‘control’ Ms Riaz’s behaviour and who she could contact, the court heard. Ms Riaz told others that she felt ‘shame and remorse’ about the affair. She had wanted to tell her husband what had happened and apologise.
To ‘gauge his response’, she asked what he would do if he found she had been speaking to another man.
Choudhry said ‘he would kill her’.
He learnt of the affair in January last year. When he spoke to Ms Riaz about it, she denied it.
Choudhry went into a ‘rage’ and ‘slapped’ her.
He then became ‘obsessed’ with knowing where his wife had been on various days, and checked her phone for messages.
“She described this as mental torture, as if she was a prisoner in her own home and decided that if things didn’t improve by June, she intended to leave,” prosecutor Alaric Bassano said.
Ms Riaz had told a colleague while in a ‘distressed’ state that Choudhry had ‘threatened to kill her’. But when police got involved she did not tell them of her allegations. In April last year, Ms Riaz reported her husband had been ‘really good with her’, and that she had asked him for ‘forgiveness’.
But neighbours told police in the weeks prior to her death they had heard arguments coming from the house, with one saying they heard a female voice shout ‘you’ve ruined my life, I hate you’.
The day before Ms Riaz’s death, she spent the day at a zoo in West Yorkshire with her husband and, in the evening, they went out for a meal together ‘apparently without incident’, Mr Bassano said.
Neighbours said that in the early hours of April 23 they heard ‘screaming and shouting’ from the terraced property. Others reported seeing them fighting each other, with a male voice saying ‘ring the police, she’s hurting me’ with the female voice saying ‘he’s stabbing me’.
Four knives were recovered containing Ms Riaz’s blood and DNA.
She was pronounced dead at the scene at 3.23am. A post-mortem examination found the cause of her death to be multiple stab wounds and rib fractures. There were more than 25 wounds to her neck, a pathologist found.
At trial, Choudhry denied hurting Ms Riaz in the past, and said he had tried to leave the marriage previously.
Now Choudhry faces a life sentence. The full story can be read here at the Manchester Evening News