'Controlling bully' gets 23 years for Haringey wife murder

  • Published
Leyla MtumwaImage source, Met Police
Image caption,
Kema Salum attacked Leyla Mtumwa at their north London home

A "controlling bully" who strangled his wife and then stabbed her 49 times in front of her young son has been jailed for a minimum of 23 years for her murder.

Kema Salum, 39, admitted killing 35-year-old Leyla Mtumwa at their home in Haringey, north London, in March.

Salum, from Tanzania, had been living in Britain on a six-month visa after marrying Ms Mtumwa in east Africa.

He was given a life sentence at the Old Bailey.

Salum became jealous when his wife went out with friends the night before the murder, the court heard.

Shortly before 07:00 on 30 March he began strangling her in a "violent rage" at their home in Kirkstall Avenue.

He then paused his attack, went into the kitchen, and came back with a knife.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Kema Salum had been living in Britain on a six-month visa

He used it to stab Ms Mtumwa in the head, neck, body and arms as her 12-year-old son screamed at him to stop, the court was told.

When Salum was arrested, he told officers he had acted in self defence.

Ms Mtumwa was pronounced dead at the scene.

Initially Salum denied murder, but changed his plea during a hearing in September.

The court heard Salum had been "extremely violent" towards his ex-wife in the past.

'True motive unknown'

Judge Richard Marks QC described the defendant as an "arrogant, controlling bully".

He said: "This was a consistent attack of very considerable force which, although relatively short-lived, must have caused Leyla very substantial suffering before she died."

Det Ch Insp Dave Whellams, who led the investigation, said Salum's "true motive... still remains unknown".

"Sadly we may never know what happened in the lead up to the attack," he said.

"However, I hope today's sentence brings Leyla's family some measure of comfort and closure."

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