Zobaidah Salangy: Jail for husband who murdered wife and buried body

Zobaidah SalangyImage source, West Mercia Police
Image caption,
Maths teacher Zobaidah Salangy had an arranged marriage with her husband in Afghanistan before moving to the UK a year later

A man who murdered his wife at his pizzeria and dumped her body in woodland has been jailed.

Zobaidah Salangy, 28, was buried in an unmarked grave near Bromsgrove in Worcestershire with the help of her husband's two brothers in March 2020.

Husband Nezam Salangy, 44, was given a minimum term of 18 years. He claims the body found was not that of his wife.

Mohammed Ramin Salangi, 31, and Mohammed Yasin Salangi, 33, were convicted of assisting an offender.

They received jail terms of six years and four years and nine months respectively at Worcester Crown Court.

Mr Justice Hilliard said the attempts to cover up the murder had been "shameful". He ruled the business owner had considered killing his wife ahead of the murder.

"I am sure that you had been violent to her, slapping her on occasions with an open hand and pulling her hair, which made her cut it short.

"It's clear that the relationship had completely broken down. I am sure you intended to kill her."

"In one recording (found after the murder) you appeared to rule out a divorce and said that either she died or you did."

In a victim impact statement Mrs Salangy's family said she "loved people of all races and beliefs" and wanted to start a career in the medical profession having studied and achieved high grades at college in difficult conditions in Afghanistan.

"She was brutally and cruelly taken away from us... and our human society."

Image source, Police handout
Image caption,
Nezam Salangy, Mohammed Yasin Salangi and Mohammed Ramin Salangi were all sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday

Mrs Salangy had been a maths teacher in Afghanistan and had an arranged marriage with her husband in November 2012, before moving to the UK the following year.

Nezam Salangy had come to the UK in 2002 after his family was targeted by the Taliban. He divorced his first wife in 2010 before marrying Zobaidah - a friend of his sister.

The trial heard the couple had "argued bitterly" on 27 March 2020, the day before Mrs Salangy disappeared.

Detectives later found her phone hidden in the pizza shop as well as a second device thought to have been used to arrange to hide her body with his brothers.

The men's trial was told Salangy, of Austin Road, Bromsgrove, killed his wife of eight years on 28 March and then rang his brothers asking for help to dispose of her body.

Mohammed Ramin travelled more than 90 miles (149km) to Bromsgrove by taxi to help hide his sister-in-law's body, pretending he was delivering a part for a broken pizza oven.

Image caption,
Zobaidah Salangy's body had been bound in curtain wire and wrapped in black bin bags before being buried in woodland

The court heard Mrs Salangy's body was not found for more than six months, despite a police dig in the area near Lower Bentley, which did not go deep enough into the ground.

She had been bound in curtain wire and wrapped in black bin bags along with a duvet cover, which matched pillow cases at the couple's home.

The trial was told Nezam Salangy used bank accounts and phone messages to create fake leads appearing to show she was still alive.

Salangy also tried to mislead police, telling them "she had gone out for a run and never come back" after leaving him for a "new boyfriend".

But because of the delays in finding her, it was subsequently impossible to establish her cause of death.

The disposal of the body at a site near Lower Bentley was an aggravating factor in the murder, the judge said.

"She was not given a proper burial but was hidden to cover up the murder," he added. "She remained there for six-and-a-half months and the pathologist could not give a cause of death as a result."

He accepted that both younger brothers, who each served alongside Allied forces in Afghanistan, and were from Caerphilly, near Cardiff, were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The court heard Nezam Salangy continues to claim the body found near Bromsgrove was not that of his wife and she is still alive.

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