Uncle, 53, is guilty of murdering his 20-year-old niece after she refused a forced marriage

An uncle has been found guilty of murdering his 20-year-old niece before dumping her body on wasteland after she refused a forced marriage.  

Mohammed Taroos Khan, 53, has been convicted of killing Somaiya Begum in Bradford, west Yorkshire, in July 2022.

The Leeds Beckett University biomedical student was found dead just over a mile from her home after a major week-long police search.

She was discovered with an 11cm-long ‘Bradawl’ tool – a sharpened metal woodwork implement – stuck in the right side of her chest on a light industrial estate.

Her uncle denied murder but was today found guilty after a trial at Bradford Crown Court. He will be sentenced tomorrow. 

Somaiya Begum, 20, was killed in Bradford, west Yorkshire in July last year

Mohammed Taroos Khan denied murder but was today found guilty after a trial at Bradford Crown Court

Ms Begum had been living with her grandmother and another of her uncles after her parents had been issued with a Forced Marriage Protection Order. 

This followed her refusal to marry a cousin in Pakistan when she was 16 years old, Bradford Crown Court had heard.

Prosecutors said Khan had cut a set of keys to the three-bedroom house on June 25 last year before killing Ms Begum in a ‘traumatic’ attack.

Jurors were told Khan then ‘bundled’ her body up and made online searches for ‘rubble bags’, before disposing of her body ‘like rubbish’ on wasteland.

He had pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by disposing of her body and destroying her phone, found in a nearby smouldering bin.

Earlier in the trial, jurors were shown CCTV footage of the moment prosecutors say shows Khan dragging Ms Begum’s body from his car and dumping it on waste ground. 

The court heard Ms Begum had been offered up for an arranged marriage at 16 by her dad, Yaseen Khan, who wanted her to marry her first cousin in Pakistan.

And he was left ‘humiliated and incandescent with rage’ when she refused the proposal and later told the police of his plans, her aunt Ishrath said in evidence.

Both Yaseen and his brother Mohammed Khan were prohibited from going to the address where she was living as they held ‘similar’ hard-line attitudes, the court heard.

Earlier this month a statement from Detective Constable Scott Kennedy was read to the court, describing Khan’s comments in custody after he had been arrested for Ms Begum’s murder.

The statement, read by prosecutor Tom Storey, said Dc Kennedy was with Khan in an interview room on June 29 as an application was being made to magistrates for his continued detention.

‘(Khan) asked me what the sentence for ‘someone in his position’ was,’ Dc Kennedy said.

‘I explained murder could carry a life sentence. He went on to ask what the sentence was for the lesser offence of manslaughter.

‘Again I explained that would be determined by a judge with the facts of the case taken into account.

‘He asked if it was true you only serve half your sentence in prison. I said that would depend on the judge.’

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