Husband murdered wife who hid lifetime of domestic abuse in sick hammer attack

News

An abusive husband murdered his wife in a vicious hammer attack after she hid a lifetime of domestic abuse.

Sajid Pervez, 38, smashed Abida Karim over the head and in the face with a hammer ‘at least 15 times’ while their children slept at the family home in Harehills home, Leeds.

Vile and controlling Pervez then “sawed” at her neck with a kitchen knife he had bought days earlier.

The shocking attack last September followed a long history of domestic violence in the house and Pervez, who has since been diagnosed with dissocial personality order, had taken half a gram of cocaine beforehand.

Pervez was jailed for life with a minimum term of 22-and-a-half years today after pleading guilty to murder last month.

He and Mrs Karim, 39, had an arranged marriage as teenagers and had been married for 21 years before the murder.

The court was told there was a history of domestic violence calls, mostly made by the victim, but none of them had resulted in prosecution.

Pervez had been cautioned by police for an offence of battery in 2010.

Prosecutor Peter Moulson QC said there was evidence of Pervez’s ‘controlling and coercive behaviour’ towards his wife and he used cannabis and cocaine frequently.

The victim had been in Pakistan for her father’s funeral before returning on Tuesday, September 15 last year. The court was told she had been discussing divorce with family during the trip, which Pervez was aware of.

Mr Moulson said Pervez used a hammer to hit Mrs Karim over the head and in the face ‘at least 15 times’ before ‘sawing’ her neck with a kitchen knife.

He said Pervez left the house immediately after and tried to visit his mother but was turned away as she was sleeping.

At 5.29am, he rang 999 and ‘calmly’ asked an operator if Elland Road police station was open.

He was asked why and replied that he had just killed his wife and was on his way to the station as he did not want the children to find her body.

He claimed they had been arguing and she had swore at him. He claimed it had been ‘going on for the last 21 years’ and no one listened to him.

Pervez told the operator that he had left the murder weapons beside her.

Emergency services were immediately dispatched and the hammer and a large kitchen knife were found on the pillow above her head.

There was no sign of life in Mrs Karim and she was pronounced dead at 5.38am.

Pervez arrived at the police station and was arrested.

He made comments claiming Mrs Karim had traumatised him during their ‘forced’ marriage before telling police at 5.42am: “Make sure the kids don’t see anything.”

Officers noticed his pupils were big and his gaze was intense and asked him if he had taken any substances, to which he replied that he had taken half a gram of cocaine.

He made a number of other comments, including: “I never thought I would harm anyone . . . I feel bad for the pain she went through.”

He also said: “I should not have done what I did. Her dad passed away two months ago. She only came back from Pakistan on Tuesday. The kids . . . now don’t have a mum.”

He then refused to answer any questions in his police interview.

The couple’s eldest daughter Sawaira Sajid told police how she had known her dad was eventually going to kill her mum from the age of just five years old, adding: “Losing my mum was my biggest fear.”

She described her dad as ‘abusive and manipulative’, as the ‘biggest burden’ in their lives and multiple instances of domestic violence.

Miss Sajid described how she would hear her mum screaming when her dad would beat her up but she did not hear any screams on the morning of her murder.

She also described how happy her mum was after returning from a previous trip to visit family in Pakistan but returned to being miserable within a week or two.

Miss Sajid said her mum had ‘got sick of life’ but was ‘always smiling’.

The 21-year-old bravely stood up in court and read a victim personal statement to the court.

In it, she described waking up to police telling the family to get out of the house, taken to a police station, being angry at not being allowed back into the house to collect her belongings due to the crime scene and suffering from nightmares about the domestic violence and police sirens.

She described herself as heartbroken and broke down as she said: “I miss being a young girl and being looked after.

“I miss my mum. I miss her cooking, her cleaning and talking to her and everything else a mother does for her children that we take for granted.

“I miss being loved and cared for.”

She added: “She was taken from me – from us – and she was taken by the hands of my own father. His duty as a man is to protect his wife and children but he has failed.”

Pervez had no convictions prior to this case.

Nick Johnson QC, mitigating, asked the judge to consider using a 15-year starting point for the minimum term – the lowest starting point available.

He disputed the prosecution’s submission about Pervez’s level of planning, saying the kitchen knife had been used by the family for cutting food, Pervez had collected his wife from the airport and the children had described it as ‘remarkably calm’ in the house following the her return from Pakistan.

He said Pervez had witnessed domestic violence in his parents’ and brother’s marriages.