Beds, Herts & Bucks

Mohammed Tabraz jailed for 2001 Luton hammer murder

Mohammed Tabraz Image copyright Bedfordshire Police
Image caption Mohammed Tabraz was caught after being convicted of drug offences in the United States in 2017

A killer has been jailed 18 years after murdering his victim over comments he allegedly made to his sister.

Mohammed Tabraz fled the UK after using a hammer to kill Soheil Mumtaz, 24, who worked with the defendant's sister in a biscuit factory.

The 39-year-old was caught after being convicted for his involvement in a heroin supply gang in the United States in 2017.

He admitted murder and was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years.

St Albans Crown Court heard he repeatedly hit Mr Mumtaz - who was known as Solo - over the head with a hammer in Luton in April 2001.

He had felt his "family honour" was "besmirched" by comments the victim had made to his sister, Shaiha Zahid, about how attractive she was.

Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC said it was his case that nothing "untoward" was said but the court heard Ms Zahid told a colleague she was going tell her brother about Mr Mumtaz's comments so he "would beat hell out of [Solo]".

Image caption Soheil Mumtaz died five days after an attack in Luton in April 2001

The court heard Tabraz told friends someone had "fooled" with one of his sisters and at 21:35 on 4 April 2001 he asked Mr Mumtaz to meet him.

He then attacked him in Kenilworth Road and the victim, whose wife was pregnant with their second child, staggered home but died five days later in hospital.

Tabraz fled to Lahore in Pakistan before at some point flying to the US, where he lived in New Jersey as an illegal immigrant.

Passing sentence, Judge Michael Kay QC said: "This senseless murder was motivated by your abhorrent and indefensible actions over words you thought had been spoken to your sister.

"You felt your family honour, your honour and your sister's honour had been besmirched. And you sought revenge."

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