A Sydney man, who murdered his wife after his suspicion that she was having an affair was confirmed, took “cruel and deliberate” steps to ensure she was dead.
Shahab Ahmed, 35, stabbed Khondkar Fariha Elahi 14 times as she begged for forgiveness in the bedroom of their Parramatta unit in February 2017.
The Bangladeshi national waited until she had stopped breathing before using her thumb to unlock her phone and call triple zero.
Justice Monika Schmidt, who found Ahmed guilty of the domestic violence murder, on Thursday said it was “yet another such case” where a woman who wanted to end a relationship was attacked for expressing her wish.
The judge jailed Ahmed for 27 years with a non-parole period of 20 years and three months, noting others must be deterred from acting on feelings of possession and jealousy with a ready-to-hand weapon such as a kitchen knife.
“None of us is at liberty to act on such dreadful impulses, no matter how angry or wronged we may feel by the conduct of those with whom we have been involved in intimate relationships,” Justice Schmidt said.
Ahmed’s lawyer Upol Amin told reporters outside court: “Nothing good ever comes out of extramarital affairs.”
“It’s been an unfortunate set of circumstances for Ahmed. Not only did he lose his best friend, he lost his wife, the love of his life,” Amin said.
But Justice Schmidt wasn’t persuaded Ahmed had shown any remorse for the “callous in the extreme” murder.
Ahmed repeatedly stabbed Elahi after reading text messages “of a sexual nature” from their married longtime friend, Omar Khan, on her phone.
Justice Schmidt said Elahi—who had been taking steps to divorce Ahmed—must have suffered a “terrifying and painful death” at the hands of her husband of “considerably greater physical stature.”
“That he broke off the tip of that large knife between her teeth when he stabbed her in the face may not be overlooked,” she said.
Ahmed left Elahi, 29, dying on a blood-soaked mattress and smoked several cigarettes over 10 minutes, according to the agreed facts.
He changed his Facebook status to “THE END” and switched her profile picture to one of them smiling together.
The judge said Ahmed watched his wife of five-and-a-half years until she was beyond help before calling police.
“These further cruel and deliberate steps ensured Elahi’s death,” Justice Schmidt said.
She also referred to a victim impact statement from Elahi’s father which detailed his heartbreak when visualising his daughter’s last moments.
“Our dear child is in agony with her wounds, still alive and the accused is waiting for her to die, smoking cigarettes … announcing (to) the whole world via Facebook,” Khondkar Mahbub Elahi wrote.
Ahmed’s jail time was backdated to his arrest meaning he’ll be eligible for parole from May 2037. He’ll likely be deported after his release.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the crisis support service hotline on 13 11 14 or the domestic violence hotline on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).