Man jailed for life for murder of Brierfield girl

A MAN has been jailed for life for the murder of former Brierfield girl Asha Muneer.

Friday, 22nd October 2010, 3:31 pm

Gulamyr Akhter wasconvicted by a jury at Reading Crown Court on Friday at the end of a four-week trial and was told he must serve at least 20 years in prison.

The jury took around six hours to consider its verdict after being sent out on Thursday afternoon.

Judge Zoe Smith described Asha as a “beautiful and popular girl” and said it was a “brutal attack”.

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There were sobs from Asha’s parents Mohammad and Nasreen in the public gallery as the conviction was handed down.

Akhter, wearing a black top and jeans, showed no emotion as he was taken down.

Akhter stabbed the former Marsden Heights Community College pupil to death on a river bank in the Berkshire town on January 18th. Judge Smith described the murder as a “deliberate execution”.

Akhter (19) followed his former girlfriend as she left work at Laura Ashley and stabbed her more than 25 times with a kitchen knife.

He later confessed to the murder to a car full of friends, having burned his mobile phone and the clothes he had been wearing during the attack.

He had a history of violent, obsessive and manipulative behaviour towards Asha, and had hit her at an event the previous summer. He called her hundreds of times in the days before killing her in a jealous rage, prompted by her rejection of him and her having begun a relationship with someone else.

He continually lied to the police following his arrest hours after the murder.

Speaking after sentence was passed, Asha’s family issued a statement through Thames Valley Police.

They said: “We have been torn apart by the loss of Asha, who was a beautiful young lady who had so many dreams and hopes for her life, now those dreams will never come true all because of one man’s pure evil and jealousy eaten up with rage. Because of this man we have lost everything and as a family the pain and suffering we feel only gets worse as days go by.

“The trial has been a terrible ordeal for us all but we are happy to see that justice has been done.”

Det. Supt Karen Trego, who led the investigation, said: “This was a determined attack which left a young girl dead and has caused a family to suffer the loss of their much loved daughter.

“Akhter has shown no remorse for killing his former girlfriend and his denials of any involvement has forced Asha’s family to endure a lengthy trial.

“Asha’s family have maintained a quiet dignity between her death and the trial and they have asked for some privacy to come to terms with what has happened.”