Birmingham & Black Country

Wife's murder 'could have been prevented'

The murder of a mother-of-three by her estranged husband could have been prevented, an inquiry has found.

Sana Shah suffered years of abuse from her husband Anwar - not their real names - who later admitted killing her in Wolverhampton in March 2014.

Risk assessments about her welfare were poor, or not picked up resulting in interventions not being made, the report said.

Several recommendations have been made to the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership.

The Domestic Homicide Review, which has changed the names of the couple to protect the identity of their children, said Ms Shah was pressured to give her marriage another chance after her husband was convicted of assaulting her in 2003.

'High risk'

Anwar continued to abuse her, the report said, but she did not contact police again until 2009 when she reported a long history of domestic abuse, including threats to kill.

Anwar was arrested but no further action was taken due to a lack of independent witnesses or medical evidence.

Ms Shah subsequently spent time at refuges and living back with her husband before seeking an Islamic divorce in 2013.

But when she was denied, she began proceedings under British law.

In the weeks before her death, she told police Anwar was again threatening to kill her.

On 20 March, the refuge identified her situation as "high risk" and as her allocated key worker was off sick, the file was left for them to pick up, which was not for six days and no protection was given to her.

Two days after Anwar was served with divorce papers on 27 March, police discovered Ms Shah's body in the living room with significant chest injuries.

Anwar was arrested and subsequently jailed for a minimum of 17-and-a-half years.

A partnership spokesman said opportunities for agencies to put in place interventions to protect her were not taken.

Had some responses by some agencies been better, the death might have been prevented.

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