Leicester

Hafiz Sharifi jailed for stabbing ex to death in front of children

Suvekshya Burathoki Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Suvekshya Burathoki, known as Fatima, had three young children

A man who repeatedly stabbed his former partner in front of her children has been jailed for a minimum of 17 years.

Hafiz Sharifi, 30, killed Suvekshya Burathoki in a "brutal, violent murder" at her home in Bartholomew Street, Leicester, on 8 October.

Leicester Crown Court heard Sharifi wiped blood on his three-year-old daughter's coat after the killing.

He went on the run but was tracked down to Coventry and later pleaded guilty to murder.

Judge Timothy Spencer QC sentenced him to life with a minimum term of 17 years.

The court heard mother-of-three Miss Burathoki, who was known as Fatima, had been in a relationship with Sharifi for six years and they had a three-year-old daughter together.

Miss Burathoki, 32, also had two sons, then aged eight and nine, from a previous relationship.

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Hafiz Sharifi pleaded guilty to murdering Miss Burathoki

The court heard the sons had gone to school but came back after one of them forgot a bag, meaning they saw their mother being attacked.

The eldest described seeing his mother being repeatedly punched, pulled by her hair, thrown down the stairs and dragged into the kitchen, where she was stabbed multiple times.

They screamed at Sharifi to stop the attack but he continued and the girl - who was still at home - is thought to have come downstairs and witnessed the end of the attack.

The boys raised the alarm with neighbours and emergency services were called.

Sentencing Sharifi, Judge Spencer said: "Amongst the many ugly features of this case is that this brutal killing of their mother was witnessed by her two sons.

"You deprived three children, one of them your own daughter, of a mother and you deprived the same daughter of a father for the formative years of her life."

Image caption Suvekshya Burathoki was killed at her home in Bartholomew Street

Prosecutor Mary Loram said Sharifi had been violent towards Miss Burathoki throughout their relationship, but was never prosecuted because she either withdrew the allegations or did not want them to be pursued.

The couple separated months before the murder and had gone through an Islamic divorce, which was done verbally.

The court heard Miss Burathoki then started a relationship with another man, and the defendant was angry when he was told about this.

Sharifi had been drinking beer and vodka at his brother's house the night before the attack, with police saying he also admitted taking cocaine.

He eventually left the house and went to Miss Burathoki's street, where he is thought to have waited for about an hour before entering her home.

In a statement read in court, Miss Burathoki's twin brother Nirajan Budathoki said: "With such an evil act he has not only murdered my sister Bunu, he has caused such nightmares to her kids."

He said the children had been "ripped" from their mother and "they will have to live with such horrific and scary [memories] for the rest of their lives".

One of the defendant's friends, Mukhdar Sharif, was found guilty of assisting an offender by giving Sharifi shelter in Coventry.

The 30-year-old, of Middleborough House in St Columbas Close, Coventry, was jailed for two and a half years.

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Mukhdar Sharif was jailed for helping Sharifi avoid arrest

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