Jail for man who killed mother-in-law after she helped daughter leave him

Muhammad Tafham, 31, who has been jailed for a minimum of 21 years after he brutally murdered his mother-in-law in Rochdale on February 7. Photo credit: Greater Manchester Police/PA Wire
Muhammad Tafham, 31, who has been jailed for a minimum of 21 years after he brutally murdered his mother-in-law in Rochdale on February 7. Photo credit: Greater Manchester Police/PA Wire

A man who brutally murdered his mother-in-law after she helped her daughter escape their unhappy arranged marriage has been jailed for a minimum of 21 years.

The killing on the morning of February 7 took place just days after the victim's daughter left Muhammad Tafham, 31, to move back in with her long-term boyfriend.

Mother-of-five Rahman Begum, 46, was found in a pool of blood at the kitchen of her home in Rochdale and had suffered three major stab wounds to the front of her body, with one cutting her heart in two.

Her daughter, Aysha Gulraiz, 25, entered into an arranged marriage in Pakistan with her cousin Tafham in 2013, but he did not join her in the UK until September 2016.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard the couple needed to live together for three years so Tafham could stay in the country, but they constantly argued and eventually Ms Gulraiz asked him for a divorce, which he refused.

Ms Gulraiz went back to her long-term boyfriend in Bradford on February 4 and two days later Mrs Begum helped trick the defendant into leaving their home in Clement Royds Street while her daughter returned with her boyfriend to collect her belongings.

Sentencing Tafham to a life term after he was convicted on Tuesday of Mrs Begum's murder, Judge John Potter told him: "Your wife had left you and was living elsewhere with another man.

"That meant your visa arrangements had been breached, leading to the prospect of deportation."

When his wife blocked his phone calls he went to Mrs Begum's house the following morning, the court heard.

The judge said: "What was said in the house at this point between the two of you is known only to you, but it seems clear to me that you confronted Mrs Begum.

"Enraged by what you discovered had been done, perhaps in your mind confirming your fate in the UK, you perpetrated the most dreadful attack on your mother-in-law."

Tafham changed his blood-stained clothes and sought to hide a latex glove which was also soaked in Mrs Begum's blood.

When arrested he initially told police he did not know who was responsible for Mrs Begum's death, and that he had fled the property in panic believing he would be blamed.

He later changed his story and claimed to the jury the death was a suicide.

Judge Potter told Tafham: "Your lies adopted a tone of pathetic desperation during your trial as you attempted to say, in my view, in a controlling and abusive way, that Mrs Begum had been responsible for her own death."

In a victim personal statement, one of her daughters, Ahsia Kauser, who found her mother's body, said: "Her loss has had a massive impact on our lives.

"It has torn our family apart and left us with a permanent hole in our hearts.

"Every day is a struggle and it is especially hard to see our father grieve every day."