A Pakistani-origin man was today sentenced to life imprisonment by a UK court after he was convicted of beating his wife to death with a hammer for not cooking him a meal.
Jamal Khan was found guilty of the murder of 42-year-old Humera Khan at Preston Crown Court in Lancashire, north-west England and ordered to serve a minimum of 16 years behind bars.
The 52-year-old was initially arrested on suspicion of wounding after the attack in February, but was later rearrested on suspicion of murder following his wife's death in hospital.
He had denied murder but was found guilty after a week- long trial today.
"This is a tragic case where Humera suffered a fatal head injury at the hands of her husband," said Lancashire Police Detective Chief Inspector Claire McEnery.
"It was a ferocious attack where she was bludgeoned to death with a lump hammer, causing catastrophic injuries to her as she was working on a sewing machine in her own house, a place where she was entitled to feel safe and secure," she added.
The court was told that the mother-of-three died after being struck twice around the head when Khan lost his temper.
"Humera leaves behind a daughter and two sons and I would like to pay tribute to her family who have acted with dignity throughout the investigation and subsequent trial," McEnery noted.
"They have acted in an exemplary fashion. This family have now lost a mother and a father and while they feel that they have today received justice for their mother they will have to live without parents going forward which adds to their devastation."
Jamal Khan took to the witness stand during his trial and told jurors the incident occurred after he had asked his wife if she had prepared some food for him, to which she had replied in their native tongue: "Do it yourself monkey."
He described it as "grievously insulting".
Asked what he remembered doing next, he said: "I was just stood behind her, she was in the kitchen and I was standing between the kitchen and the living room. I just, because I could see the handle, I just picked it (hammer) up in both hands.
"I just like, tried to scare her, saying 'Do you want me to use this on you then?', and I was just like not trying to hit her or anything. In the meanwhile she just stood up and it hit her right on the head."
Khan also told the court he left Pakistan for England 17 years ago after his brother was murdered and he felt under pressure from his family to take revenge.
He had previously told the court he had worries about his health, immigration status and finances and was worried about UK authorities finding out he had come to the UK with a false name.
Jurors also heard that in 2011, his wife had called police to their home after he pushed her when she accidentally spilled tea on his shirt.
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