An abusive and controlling husband who bludgeoned his wife of 30 years to death with a hammer and a machete has been jailed for at least 20 years.
Pakistan-born Muhammad Javed, 59, killed mother-of-five Saeeda Hussain on February 13 last year following years of violence and increasingly paranoid behaviour.
Javed, a former pilot in the Pakistan military, and Ms Hussain moved to the UK with their children 15 years into the marriage – settling on Staines Road in Ilford.
Shortly after their arrival, Javed began to be increasingly dictatorial and abusive to his wife – preventing her from leaving the house without one of their adult children.
He also began locking the back door so she could not even go into the garden and preventing her from working as a seamstress in case she made female friends.
In 2013, the defendant installed CCTV cameras in the house so he could watch her every move and made repeated unfounded accusations of her having sexual relationships with other men.
During the trial, the Old Bailey heard that 54-year-old Ms Hussain had been granted British citizenship in 2011 but her husband had never even been given leave to remain.
Her children said she was too scared to report the abuse in case her husband – who could not work legally in the UK – was deported.
In the weeks before the murder, he had stopped talking to her completely because she had attended a baby shower with their daughter without his permission.
Evidence from the crime scene indicated Ms Hussain had been dragged from the dining room to the front room – which Javed used as a bedroom – where she was killed.
Jailing Javed for life with a minimum of 20 years, Judge Rebecca Poulet said: “I have concluded that your violence towards your wife had taken place regularly for at least 10 years – including pushing, slapping, punching and kicking.
“In 2008 she attended St George’s hospital for stitches for a 4cm cut to her forehead. I’m in no doubt that this injury was as a result of an assault by you. I’m in no doubt she lived in constant fear.”
Judge Poulet remarked that despite the years of abuse, Ms Hussain’s demeanour never changed towards her husband and she always insisted her children treat him with respect.
She ruled that Javed had deliberately retrieved the hammer and machete from the shed with the intention of attacking his wife, and had not grabbed the weapons in the heat of the moment.
A pathologist identified 70 groups of injuries, most of which were consistent with “chopping actions with a heavy bladed weapon”.
There were also injuries to her hands and arms as she attempted to fend off the attack.
The pathologist estimated that there were at least 46 stab wounds and at least seven blows from the hammer.
After the killing, the defendant changed out of his blood-stained clothes, left the weapons near his wife’s body, locked the living room door, and left by a window.
He contacted his daughter’s father-in-law and told him: “You are going to hear very bad news.”
At about 6pm, he walked into Ilford Police Station and told an officer: “I have just killed my wife.”
Joseph Stone, for Javed, said that the defendant’s mounting paranoia and abuse of his wife was evidence he was suffering from “Othello syndrome”.
“There’s no evidence to suggest that relationship for the first 50% of the marriage was anything other than a satisfactory and an amicable one,” he said.
In a statement, the victim’s only daughter Sidra Hussain described her mother’s devotion to her family.
She said: “I feel like it was just a great dream that my mother was in my life – when I think of the reality of living life without her it feels incomplete.”
She added: “The dreams I had of looking after my mother as she grew old have been shattered into pieces.”