Murder accused asked police ‘what sentence was for someone in his position’

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A man accused of murdering his niece asked police “what the sentence was for someone in his position” and “if it was true you only serve half in prison”, a court has heard.

Mohammed Taroos Khan, 53, is accused of killing Somaiya Begum, 20, at her home in Binnie Street, Bradford, on June 25 last year.

The Leeds Beckett University student’s body was found wrapped in a rug on waste ground in the city in July last year – 11 days after she went missing, a jury has heard.

Ms Begum had been living with another of her uncles in Binnie Street after her parents had been issued with a Forced Marriage Protection Order.

This followed her refusal to marry a cousin in Pakistan when she was 16 years old, Bradford Crown Court heard.

The statement, read by prosecutor Tom Storey, said Dc Kennedy was with Khan in an interview room on June 29 as an application was being made to magistrates for his continued detention.

“(Khan) asked me what the sentence for ‘someone in his position’ was,” Dc Kennedy said.

“I explained murder could carry a life sentence. He went on to ask what the sentence was for the lesser offence of manslaughter.

“Again I explained that would be determined by a judge with the facts of the case taken into account.

“He asked if it was true you only serve half your sentence in prison. I said that would depend on the judge.”

Jurors were shown CCTV footage of the moment prosecutors say shows Khan dragging Miss Begum’s body from his car and dumping it on waste ground.

The court heard the clip shows Khan parking his Mitsubishi Space Wagon on Mill Lane before getting out and pulling something long and light coloured out of the vehicle.

Josie Wright, the West Yorkshire Police analyst presenting the footage, said he could be seen dragging it to the tree line and then out of sight.

Khan, denies killing Miss Begum, but has admitted perverting the course of justice by disposing of her body and trying to burn her mobile phone.

The jury has heard how Miss Begum’s extended family was split in two by a feud and prosecutor Jason Pitter KC said they may hear the death explained in terms of an “inappropriately named honour killing”.

Opening the case earlier this week, the prosecutor added: “Whatever it was … it was not honourable.”

The trial continues.

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