Man who killed sister ‘obvious risk to women’, brother tells inquest

T

he brother of a woman who was beaten to death by her husband has said he has “a lot of concerns” about how authorities supervised the man responsible for her death, and that he wished he had intervened prior to her murder.

Sobhia Khan was killed by Atual Mustafa at their house in Derby in May 2017, a month after she left her family home in Bradford.

An inquest into her death heard on Wednesday that she was left with 36 individual injuries in the fatal attack, including being burned by an iron and struck by a bar or pole.

Her death came almost two years after Mustafa was discharged with conditions from a secure psychiatric unit in Derby, where he had been serving a hospital order for a sustained attack which saw him shave, beat, burn and set fire to another woman.

I want justice for my sister because if that happened to me, she would be sitting here saying the same thing

Giving evidence at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court, Javid Khan said his family were “duped” by Mustafa, who was known to them by the false name of Asif from when he was first introduced in 2016.

Holding back tears, he said: “I have a lot of concerns and it has taken five years to get here.

“I want justice for my sister because if that happened to me, she would be sitting here saying the same thing.

“There are a lot of concerns and everything clicked into place after she died.

“I do beat myself up. I should have intervened as a brother.”

The inquest will analyse the rationale behind the decision to discharge Mustafa from the Cygnet Hospital in Derby back into the community in July 2015, six years after he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia following the first attack.

It will also examine whether the conditions attached to Mustafa’s discharge were fit for purpose and how his risk was assessed.

David Pojur, leading junior counsel to the inquest, told the court that conditions of his discharge included complying with appointments and medication, and notifying authorities if he started a new relationship.

Whilst there were many checks on (Mustafa’s) conditions, they mostly depended upon his self-reporting about how he was feeling … Much was taken at face value

But despite the “forceful and dominant” Mustafa posing “an obvious risk to women”, the conditions attached to his release into the community were not effectively monitored, Mr Pojur said.

He added: “Whilst there were many checks on his conditions, they mostly depended upon his self-reporting about how he was feeling, how he viewed his mental health, how he was taking his medication and whether or not he said he was in a relationship.

“Much was taken at face value.

“Even when questions were asked in the presence of family members, he lied about being in a relationship.”

A friend, referred to only as Miss X, told the court she was told in early 2016 by Ms Khan that she had met Mustafa via Instagram but was keeping it from her family, and despite Miss X raising concerns about his criminal past, Ms Khan was “desperate to settle down”.

Miss X said she noticed bruises and burn marks after Ms Khan began visiting Mustafa’s Derby home, which the victim put down to being “clumsy”.

In his evidence, Mr Khan said that after Mustafa was eventually introduced, similar concerns were again dismissed, with Ms Khan saying Mustafa had been sentenced for drugs offences which he did not commit and that he was a “good lad”.

Mr Pojur said that the move to Derby was “the decline towards her death”, and in four weeks the “westernised” Ms Khan became “alone and increasingly vulnerable” and eventually “became a possession”.

She began wearing a full niqab and burqa, her social media accounts disappeared, her iPhone was replaced with a basic Nokia handset, and she was banned from making eye contact with men or touching them by accident.

Only after the murder did her family discover Mustafa’s real identity, and then found articles about his previous offending online.

Her brother told the court that had his family known about Mustafa’s past, his sister “would not have been going anywhere and would have still been here”.

The inquest will also investigate Mustafa’s “secret sexual relationship” with a staff member at Cygnet Hospital.

It is claimed that the incident was inadequately assessed and that the “manipulative” Mustafa presented himself as a victim, despite evidence of controlling behaviour.

Mr Pojur said: “In echoes of his behaviour toward other women, he told her that he had bugged her car and knew where she was at all times.

“He also told her that he had bugged her house and had seen her having sexual intercourse with her husband.

“She admitted to providing a contraband mobile phone to him and having sex with him.

“She was swiftly dismissed.

“Mustafa, on the other hand, appears to have been treated as the wronged party, with no recognition that his behaviour towards the healthcare worker could be seen as offence-paralleling.”

The inquest, which could run until the end of June, continues.

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