Taxi driver who murdered wife with hammer and knife jailed for life

Taxi driver who murdered his wife with a hammer and knife in cocaine-fuelled frenzy while their children slept is jailed for life

  • Sajid Pervez, 37, jailed for life for murdering his wife Abida Karim in September
  • Subjected his wife of 21 years to years of physical and psychological abuse  
  • Court heard he had previously made threats to burn down the family home 
  • The couple’s children also made statements to police describing the abuse

A taxi driver who murdered his wife with a hammer and a knife in a cocaine-fuelled frenzy while their children slept has been jailed for life.  

Sajid Pervez, 37, struck 38-year-old Abida Karim with a hammer over the head at least 15 times before using a knife to slash her throat, a court heard today.

The heinous attack happened in the middle of the night on September 24 last year at the couple’s family home in Leeds – as their children slept.

Leeds Crown Court heard Pervez had subjected Mrs Karim, a mother-of-seven, to years of domestic abuse and that he was in a cocaine-fuelled frenzy at the time of the killing.

Afterwards, Pervez left the property, dialled 999 and calmly told an operator he had killed his partner of 21 years but did not want his children to find the body.

Sajid Pervez, 37, (pictured) was jailed for life today for the murder of his wife during a cocaine-fuelled frenzy while his children slept in the same house

Abida Karim, 38, was found dead in bed – she had been hit with a hammer over the head at least 15 times before a knife was used to slash her throat

Police and paramedics went to the property and found Mrs Karim dead in bed with the weapons near to her body.

Peter Mouslon QC, prosecuting, said the victim had been struck on the head at least 15 times with the hammer and suffered deep knife wounds to her neck.

The couple’s eldest children provided statements to police describing how their dad had subjected their mum to years of physical and psychological abuse.

A statement from the couple’s eldest daughter read: ‘I have pictured this day since I was five years old.’

The attack happened ten days after Mrs Karim returned to Leeds from a trip to Pakistan to attend her father’s funeral.

And the court heard how at one point the defendant said: ‘When Mum comes back from Pakistan watch what I do to her. I do not care about police and you will be shocked.’

Mother-of-seven Mrs Karim (pictured with her family) had been subjected to years of domestic abuse

Pervez, who was described as ‘horrible, abusive and manipulative’ by his children,  also bought a large knife which he brought into the house in the days before the fatal attack.

The court heard Pervez had previously made threats to burn down the family home if his behaviour was ever reported to the police.

Describing the night of the murder, Mrs Karim’s daughter said: ‘My mum did not even scream.

‘Normally when she is beaten up I can hear her shouting, I can hear her scream. I didn’t hear my mum this morning.

‘The timing of this killing may not have been settled in his mind but preparations for it certainly were made.’

Pervez pleaded guilty to murder at a hearing on January 12 this year.

After handing himself in he told officers at a Leeds police station he had taken around half a gram of cocaine.

A doctor assessed him as having a personality disorder made worse by his use of alcohol, cocaine and cannabis.

The couple’s eldest children provided statements to police describing how their dad had subjected their mum to years of physical and psychological abuse

Nick Johnson QC, mitigating, said Pervez had witnessed domestic violence in his own family when he was growing up.

He said: ‘His life and life choices were decided and controlled for him from an early age, involving his arranged marriage from the age of 17.’

The barrister said the use of cocaine had a ‘disinhibiting’ effect on Pervez.

Pervez was given a life sentence and told he must serve a minimum of 22-and-a-half years in custody before he can apply to the parole board for release on licence.

Judge Simon Phillips told Pervez he was satisfied that he had planned to kill his wife based on his behaviour towards his family before the incident.

The judge said: ‘You wanted them to know that you had the capacity and the preparedness to do something seismic and catastrophic within a family context.’

Speaking after the sentencing, Mrs Karim’s eldest daughter Sawaira Sajid said: ‘Our mother was the most precious woman who dedicated her whole life to her husband and seven children.

‘She was a devoted wife and mother who always put her family first.

‘She was married to our father for 21 years and she experienced domestic abuse throughout her whole marriage.

‘We tried to help her but she would say, “things will get better and you will always need him as he is your father”.

The court heard how Pervez (pictured) had warned his children to ‘watch what I do to her’ before she arrived home from a visit to Pakistan for a funeral

‘She never disclosed what she was going through to the community, her friends or her family as she was holding on to the very little amount of hope she had that things would get better.

‘On the night of September 23, we had no clue it would be the last meal our mother would cook for us, the last time we spent with her, the last time we got to see her smile and the last time we got to feel her presence.

‘We did not know that we would be going to sleep and waking up with police officers in our home telling us that our mother has been murdered, leaving us absolutely heartbroken and devasted.

‘Since that day we have craved her presence and our hearts have been empty.

‘Our mother is a hero to us, she fought for her kids and family till her last breath.’

After the case, Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Natalie Dawson, of West Yorkshire Police Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: ‘Abida Karim’s family remain utterly devastated about her murder at the hands of her husband in appallingly violent circumstances in the family home.

‘Sajid Pervez has robbed his own children of their mother and, although he has now been held accountable, we recognise that no amount of time in prison could ever properly compensate them for such a dreadful loss.’

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