Leeds man killed wife after she asked for divorce

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A man smashed his wife’s head in with a dumbbell, stabbed her and strangled her to death with her head scarf after she asked him for a divorce.

A court heard Afghan national Mohammed Yakub was suffering from post traumatic stress at the time of the killing as a result of the ordeal he suffered as a prisoner of the Taliban.

Yakub, thought to be aged 62 or 63, carried out the horrifying attack on Mariam Mohd Taqi, 50, at his home on Ashton Court, Harehills, Leeds, and then called the police to tell them what he had done.

The officer who went to the flat found her body on the kitchen floor and a broken knife next to her in a pool of blood.

A post mortem revealed she had died as a result of a “violent and sustained” attack with a knife and a dumbbell before being strangled by her head scarf.

After the incident Yakub told officers he had attacked his wife after she began shouting at him when she went to his house to bring him some food.

He said she began asking him for a divorce and he was feeling under pressure to agree.

He told police: “I can’t tolerate when someone tells me a bad word or behaves badly. Then I become angry and nervous and lose my mind.”

Yakub pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Yakub was assessed by psychiatrists who agreed that he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and severe depression at the time of the attack on April 6 last year. He is also suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

The court heard Yakub married his wife in 1977 and they had five children together in Afghanistan. He was kidnapped by the Taliban in 1997 and held prisoner by the Islamist fundamentalist organisation for six months.

During that time he had suffered head injuries from being beaten and was tortured by having cigarettes extinguished on his stomach. He had also witnessed others being tortured, killed or buried alive.

After his release Yakub did not see his family for almost 10 years until he was granted asylum in the UK and they came to live with him in Leeds.

Paul Greaney, QC, mitigating, said Yakub had been kidnapped for supporting a political group which opposed the Taliban.

The barrister said Yakub was deeply sorry for what he had done and there was a real chance he could die in prison as a result of his ill health.

He said: “It was the only partner he ever had and he knows he has taken her from the children.

He added:“Every day in prison reminds him of what he suffered at the hands of the Taliban.”

Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, adjourned the case until Monday to consider his sentence.