Birmingham & Black Country

Tyseley 'honour killing' father jailed for blaze murder

Mohammed Inayat
Image caption Mohammed Inayat started the fire because he believed his daughter's wedding would 'dishonour his family'

A man who killed his wife and injured three daughters by setting his house on fire in a so-called honour killing plot has been jailed for life.

Mohammed Inayat started the fire in Birmingham to stop his daughter flying out to Dubai to marry her boyfriend.

The 56-year-old was found guilty of murder and arson with intent and ordered to serve at least 22 years.

At Birmingham Crown Court, he was cleared of four counts of attempted murder, and one of manslaughter.

Inayat, of Cateswell Road in Tyseley, started the fire because he believed the wedding would dishonour his family, the court heard.

His wife, three daughters and a family friend were sleeping upstairs at the time.

'Sends a message'

When the fire service arrived, in the early hours of 17 April, they found the body of Inayat's wife, Naika, in one of the upstairs bedrooms, the prosecution said.

Three daughters and a family friend suffered broken bones and burns jumping from the first-floor bedroom windows.

Image caption Inayat's three daughters suffered broken bones and burns jumping from the first floor bedroom windows

In a statement released after the sentencing, the Inayat family said: "We are very pleased with today's sentence and whilst this will not bring back our beloved Naika we hope it sends out a message that abuse of this instance, of any kind, will not be tolerated by good men and women.

"There are many lessons which can be drawn from this, also by public agencies, including the need to be more vigilant to the trauma and distress that exists within our communities.

"Naika's loss has left a hole in our lives which can never be filled. She will always be loved and remembered by all who knew her."

'Dreadful crime'

Police said unemployed Inayat, who was also cleared of a charge of reckless arson, initially claimed the fire was caused by two robbers who tied him up, placed a gun to his head and demanded cash.

Det Ch Insp Sarb Johal, of West Midlands Police, said Inayat was angry at his daughter's plans to marry for a second time.

"He has rightly been handed a life sentence for what was a callous, devastating attack on his own family."

Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Zafar Siddique said crimes committed to defend a family's honour would not be tolerated.

"Inayat committed a dreadful crime, a crime which he committed because he was unable to accept the fact that his daughter wanted to get married to someone that she loved, cared for and wanted to spend the rest of her life with," he said.

"This he felt brought dishonour to him and his family, but today's conviction has shown that the shame is his to bear.

"The CPS will not shy away from tackling honour-based violence. It is a fundamental abuse of human rights and should not be tolerated in any civilised society.

"Our thoughts are today with the family and friends of Naika Inayat."

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