London murder: Man jailed for killing wife in ambush

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Mohammed Anhar AliImage source, Met Police
Image caption,
Mohammed Anhar Ali was jailed for a minimum of 26 years

A man who murdered his estranged wife after she rejected his orders about how to live has been jailed for life.

Mohammed Anhar Ali, of Old Bethnal Green Road, hid inside a cupboard for 10 hours before attacking Nazia Ali in her home in Bow, east London.

The Old Bailey heard Ali was a devout Muslim and unhappy that his 25-year-old wife wanted her two daughters to live a more Western lifestyle.

The 32-year-old was ordered to serve a minimum of 26 years in prison.

The court heard the couple met soon after Ali had arrived in the UK from Bangladesh, and Mrs Ali had become pregnant soon after they were married.

However, the relationship broke down and he moved out after claiming his wife "needed to be exorcised".

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
Nazia Ali was killed a day after she told her husband their marriage was over

Mrs Ali told her husband the relationship was over in October 2018, the jury heard.

The next day on 21 October, he hid in a cupboard in her home armed with two knives, a scarf and some flex, then ambushed her once the children had gone to bed.

She was punched, causing multiple injuries to her head and ribs, and then strangled with a scarf.

The Old Bailey was told Ali then got into bed to sleep next to his two children before calling police the next morning.

In court, he admitted the killing but denied murder.

Her Honour Judge Wendy Joseph QC described Ali as "a strict Muslim" who required his wife to live a "lifestyle that she found intolerable".

"His conduct was fuelled by a failure to accept that Nazia was entitled to leave him, entitled to divorce him, and entitled to live her own life," she said.

Mrs Ali's family said their "hearts are broken beyond repair".

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