Steph's Place

May 5th. Every Three Days - Raheela Shariff

On average every three days a woman is killed by a man.

This is the second in our series of articles - remembering women murdered by men in our #EveryThreeDays campaign. Every third day we remember a woman killed by a man. 

Six years ago today May 5th 2015, some newspapers were reporting the story of Raheela, mother of four young children who was killed in her own home. 

That, in itself, is shocking enough, but what makes this even worse was the murder was committed by her husband. In one foul moment, the kids were left without a mum or a dad who subsequently received a life sentence.

You may feel (quite rightly) that these circumstances are tragic, but what makes the circumstances even worse was the father, Imran held a responsible job serving the community. He was jealous of Raheela's relationship with a cousin. Not a sexual relationship but one purely involving text messages received by Raheela on her phone.

For her cousin lived in Pakistan - some four thousand miles away.

Imran worked as a pharmacist in Slough, Bucks and had been married to Raheela for eighteen years. He was so jealous of the text relationship that he had even bought a tracker to go on Raheela's phone, relaying the messages to his own phone. After an argument over a text message received, Imran first tried to strangle Raheela and then slashed her neck at least five times, leaving her for dead in the kitchen of their home. He then changed his blood-covered clothes and put them in his car.

Wanting to cover up his crime Imran then decided to pull down Raheela's trousers and underwear, leaving the front door open as he left the house, in an attempt to make Raheela's murder look like a sexual attack by an unknown person. 

Stupidly though, he left his own blood covered clothing in his car. And after a relative discovered the murder, the police quickly caught and charged Imran for his crime.

This story is so tragic in many ways.

Firstly, because the national press did not extensively cover Raheela's murder - was that because Raheela was of colour?

I dont know.

I also can't understand why a man who if even if he did not love his wife - could so callously leave his kids (who surely he loved?) without either a mum or a dad. Did he honestly think he would get away with murdering his wife undetected? 

And then there was the heartbreaking statement from the eldest of their children, who at the time was just 15. She said:

“My mum will always be my role model, but I will never be able to reach the heights she did. My mum’s joyful memory and respectful teachings will stay with me and my siblings. Even though we have family, we cannot replace her.

The family made a statement too, it read: 

“There will never be the words to describe the pain and the void in our lives caused by the loss of our mother, sister and friend Raheela, we are like lost sheep without her and her four children have been orphaned.

“The laughter has gone from the house and our lives. Raheela was the life and soul of any event. She had such a loud laugh that it will always be remembered and hugely missed.

And then there is the issue that when the murder and subsequent trial was reported in the local press, not one person made a comment in the comment box.

Not one person.

Is this is what we have come to expect from a caring society?

Do we not care?



Authored by Steph



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