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17:13, 5 May 2015
By Lucy Fulford
Imran Sharif murdered his wife Raheela because he wrongly believed she was having an affair with her cousin.
Imran Sharif who killed his wife of 17 years in the kitchen of their family home before getting rid of the weapon and going to work has admitted her murder.
Life sentence: Imran Sharif cut wife Raheela’s throat before getting rid of the weapon and going to work
A jealous pharmacist who cut his wife’s throat in their kitchen and then went to work has been jailed for life with a minimum of 14 years.
Imran Sharif, 44, who had been stealing Viagra and anti-depressants from his workplace, dropped the couple’s four children at their schools before “brutally” murdering his wife of 16 years, Raheela Imran, at the family home in Slough, Berks on Oct 20 last year.
Leaving Raheela 45, lying dead on the kitchen floor, he changed out of his bloodstained clothes and hid them under the driver’s seat of his car, then concealed the murder weapon – which was never found – and went to work.
Sharif had previously denied killing his wife but later confessed to a fellow prisoner while he was being held on remand at HMP Bullingdon.
He pleaded guilty to murder at Reading Crown Court earlier this year.
Allan Mainds, prosecuting, told a sentencing hearing at the same court today that Sharif had become convinced, mistakenly, that his wife was having an affair with her younger cousin in Pakistan.
The pair would text and speak frequently but the relationship was, in reality, nothing more than friendship, with Raheela fulfilling an “almost maternal” role, said Mr Mainds.
He said: “There were regular exchanges of affectionate texts and telephone calls.
“The defendant interpreted these as the actions of an unfaithful and secretive wife – a totally wrong interpretation.
“He saw this previously successful marriage was at an end.”
TVP Imran Sharif who killed his wife of 17 years in the kitchen of their family home before getting rid of the weapon and going to work has admitted her murder.
Paranoid: Sharif became mistakenly convinced his wife was having an a affair
In his paranoia, Sharif even downloaded a tracking app onto his wife’s iPhone, the court heard, which would send copies of her messages to his own phone.
Raheela only discovered the lengths her husband was going to to keep tabs on her when a colleague uncovered the app while trying to fix something on her mobile.
The couple, who were cousins, had married in Pakistan in 1997, going on to have four children, now aged between seven and 15.
Things came to a head during a family trip back to Pakistan in April 2014, when Sharif accused his wife in front of other family members of having an affair, told her he would divorce her and allegedly hit her.
Raheela confided in friends that the relationship was in trouble.
Things came to a head on October 20 when Sharif stole his wife’s mobile phone and hid the house landline phone to prevent her from contacting her cousin, the court heard.
As she returned home to search for her phone, Sharif confronted her and tried to strangle her, before drawing a kitchen knife across her throat in a “violent” and sustained attack.
He then got changed and went to work.
Raheela’s body was discovered by her brother hours later when he visited her home.
Her larynx had been broken and she was naked from the waist down.
A post mortem examination found she died as a result of a wound to the neck.
INS Reading Crown Court.
Sentencing: Reading Crown Court.
Sharif was arrested later that day before being charged with murder on October 23, after officers discovered a Tesco carrier bag in his car containing a grey long-sleeved shirt and denim trousers which were stained with Raheela’s blood.
He later confessed to a fellow prisoner that he had “forgotten” to dispose of the bag.
Gregory Bull, defending, said: “Of course this is a horrific killing. There was an almighty argument.
“He still has no recollection of what happened.”
Mr Bull said Sharif had returned home from dropping his children at school to find his wife at home, looking for her mobile phone which he had taken from her.
He said the knife ‘just happened’ to be close by on a kitchen table, adding: “He saw it, he used it and he will never forgive himself for it.”
Mr Bull claimed that Sharif had been mentally ill at the time of the murder.
He added: “He’s a man who has destroyed his own life as well as taking the life of his wife.”
Sentencing Sharif to life imprisonment, Judge Johannah Cutts said: “I accept that you believed, albeit erroneously, that your wife was having an affair.
“I accept this was not a premeditated killing, however it is clear you intended to kill her on that occasion.”
She told Sharif he would serve 14 years and nine months before being eligible for parole.
Sharif, dressed in a prison issue blue-grey jumper, with greying hair and stubble, showed no emotion as he was taken down to the cells.