A MAN who burned his former wife to death after dousing her with petrol and setting her alight has been jailed for life for her murder.
Ahmad Yazdanparast, 61, was ordered by judge Lady Wise to spend a minimum of 19 years behind bars before being eligible for parole.
His former wife, Ahdieh Khayatzadeh, suffered burns to 95 per cent of her body in the attack by Yazdanparast at her hair salon in Stirling in October last year.
Ms Khayatzadeh, 46, told a paramedic before she died that her ex-husband had carried out the attack because she had divorced him.
Lady Wise yesterday described the murderous attack as “premeditated and callous”.
She described Ms Khayatzadeh as a lovely woman and a good mother and told Yazdanparast: “Your actions have deprived her children of her company.
“You planned to murder her in the most horrific attack imaginable. Your ex-wife had full thickness burns to 95 per cent of her body. There was no possibility of her surviving. You have shown no remorse for the premeditated and callous attack on her.
“It appears your actions were motivated by anger at your wife for having the temerity to divorce you. You decided she could not be free of you and live.”
As Yazdanparast was led away to the cells he shouted: “I am not a killer, Lady Wise.”
Solicitor advocate Vincent Belmonte, defending, said: “Mr Yazdanparast maintains his innocence. He does not express remorse for a crime which he says he did not commit.
“He was very much in love with his wife and devastated by the dissolution of his marriage and what he says was the involvement of a third party.
“Clearly this is a tragedy. He recognises the death of his wife will have a very adverse effect on his children.”
During his trial Yazdanparast claimed he had acted in self- defence after being assaulted.
But the court heard that he scattered cards around the Venus Hair and Beauty Salon in Stirling bearing hand-written messages in English and Farsi reading “enough is enough” and “game is over” and accusing his ex-wife of committing adultery.
He then poured petrol over Ms Khayatzadeh’s head and body and set fire to her. In the intense blaze he also suffered burns.
She died at Forth Valley Royal Hospital the same day, after telling paramedic Steven Morgan that Yazdanparast had done it because she divorced him.
Kebab shop owner Yazdanparast had a previous conviction for attacking his wife, and she had previously contacted police over threats he made to kill her and pour acid over her face.
The couple, who are originally from Iran, separated in 2010 before divorcing last year.
Yazdanparast told the court that his wife was becoming “westernised”, adding: “In this country, divorce is quicker than getting a driving licence. That’s not right.”
During the divorce proceedings last year, Yazdanparast was found in contempt of court after screaming, ranting and wailing, conduct a judge at Stirling Sheriff Court described as “bizarre”.
The couple had been caught up in a further legal fight over a flat that was meant to be sold as part of the divorce, and Yazdanparast was due back in court the week after the murder.
He claimed that on the day of the fire, Ms Khayatzadeh had blown him a kiss and mouthed the word “milk” and said the container he was seen carrying into her salon contained milk.
However, detectives found traces of petrol on his victim’s clothing and on a piece of plastic in the basement salon, hours after Yazdanparast had been seen buying fuel from a local petrol station.
Yazdanparast also claimed his wife had thrown something at him, and that he had felt a burning sensation.
Following her death, Ms Khayatzadeh’s family – including the couple’s twin daughters – said a “huge void” had been left in their lives.