A mother helped her daughter escape a troubled arranged marriage and told her ‘don’t ruin your life, go live it’ the night before she was allegedly stabbed to death by her angry son-in-law, a jury has heard. Muhammad Tafham, 31, is alleged to have murdered Rahman Begum, 46, at her home in Rochdale after his wife, Aysha, 25, left him to move back in with her long-term boyfriend in Bradford. Aysha continued seeing her partner despite entering into an arranged marriage in Pakistan with Tafham, a cousin on her father’s side, who joined her in the UK in September 2016.
The couple needed to live together for three years so Tafham could stay in the country but the pair constantly argued and eventually Aysha asked him for a divorce, which he refused. Aysha went back to her boyfriend on February 4 this year and two days later Mrs Begum helped trick the defendant into leaving their home in Clement Royds Street while Aysha returned with her boyfriend and hurriedly threw her belongings into bin bags and carrier bags before the lovers drove off.
On February 7, the mother of five was found lying on her kitchen floor with blood around her and a knife in her hand. She was pronounced dead at the scene when paramedics arrived. A post-mortem examination found she had suffered three major stab wounds to the front of her body and one of them passed through her breast bone and right through her heart.
The Crown say Tafham killed Mrs Begum in anger and then placed the 12in kitchen knife in her hand to make the death appear as a suicide. Aysha told detectives that her mother had no reason to kill herself.
She said her father, Gulraiz Sharif, did not accept the relationship with her boyfriend, Malik, and that she only agreed to the arranged marriage with Tafham to keep her father happy.