Birmingham & Black Country

Naila Mumtaz death: Wife 'possessed by evil spirit'

Husband Mohammed Mumtaz
Image caption Husband Mohammed Mumtaz claims his wife was possessed by an evil spirit.

A man accused of murdering his pregnant wife told police she was possessed by an evil spirit and tried to strangle herself, a court has heard.

Pregnant Naila Mumtaz, 21, died at her home in Craythorne Avenue, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, in 2009.

Mohammed Mumtaz, 24, his mother, father and brother-in-law deny murder, manslaughter and causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult.

Birmingham Crown Court heard Mr Mumtaz claimed her death was "like a suicide".

Paramedics were called to the family home in July 2009.

They found Mrs Mumtaz's body in a bedroom and attempted to resuscitate her. She later died in hospital.

Prosecutor Christopher Hotten described what the family members had told police after Mrs Mumtaz's death.

'Get the spirit out'

He said Mohammed Mumtaz believed his wife had been possessed by an evil spirit known as a Djinn and that he had been "similarly possessed".

He claimed that a person was present at the house praying "to get the spirit out of her".

The jury heard that Mr Mumtaz told police that his wife had "suffocated herself by putting her hand in her mouth and she tried to strangle herself".

Mr Mumtaz claimed his parents Salma Aslam, 51, and Zia Ul-Haq, 51, and his brother-in-law Hammad Hassan, 24, all of Craythorne Avenue, were trying to hold Mrs Mumtaz down to stop her from harming herself.

The case is expected to last eight weeks.

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