Muslim murdered ‘westernised’ ex-wife in Stirling

The High court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
The High court in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
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A MAN has been found guilty of burning his “westernised” ex-wife to death, after setting fire to her following a bitter divorce.

Ahdeih Khayatzadeh, 46, suffered 95 per cent burns in the attack by Ahmad Yazdanparast at the Venus Hair & Beauty salon in the centre of Stirling last October.

The two-week trial at the High Court in Edinburgh heard that 61-year-old Yazdanparast used petrol to set fire to the mother-of-three. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Detective Inspector Bryan Burns said last night: “The horrific nature and consequences of this crime has had an immeasurable impact on Ahdeih’s family and I would like to praise their strength, courage and support.

“I would also like to thank those members of the community in Stirling who helped at the scene of this tragic incident and those who came forward after our appeal for witnesses.

“The many people who responded so promptly and positively did much to assist the investigation.

“Our thoughts remain with Ahdeih’s family during this difficult time.”

Earlier, the judge, Lady Wise, told Yazdanparast that he had been convicted of the murder of his wife in “a horrific attack”.

She said only one sentence could be imposed – life in prison.

A decision on the minimum sentence he must serve before becoming eligible to seek parole was adjourned until later this month for a background report.

The couple, who both originally came from Iran, had joint property interests but separated in 2010 before finally divorcing last year.

The court heard that detectives collected up cards thrown down by Yazdanparast before the fire attack and found handwritten messages in English and Farsi.

In one, he said: “If she was in Iran she was not doing this to me and my children. Game is over.”

One of the cards referred to her praying, fasting and reading the Koran but added that she was “doing adultery”. Another said: “She married me for visa and my money.”

Yazdanparast, known as Chico, had denied in evidence assaulting his wife, despite having a previous conviction for attacking her.

The court heard that Ms Khayatzadeh had previously contacted police over threats that he made to kill her and pour acid on her face.

Advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith told jurors: “He wasn’t being listened to, he wasn’t being obeyed.

“He lost control of his wife and he murdered her.”

Yazdanparast, who told his trial that he was “a British Muslim”, said that in Iran the man was superior to the woman and had authority over her, but his wife was superior to him.

He said she was not listening or co-operating and was becoming “westernised”.

Yazdanparast told the court that he did not want a divorce and said: “In this country divorce is quicker than getting a driving licence. That’s not right.”

Ms Khayatzadeh was found alive by a fire crew responding to the blaze, but she died later in hospital.

Paramedic Steven Morgan told the murder trial that he asked Ms Khayatzadeh who was responsible and she said it was her ex-husband. Asked why, the witness said she told him “because she had divorced him”.

Following her death, Ms Khayatzadeh’s family said a “huge void” had been left in their lives.

They described her as a “wonderful woman who was devoted to her family and spent every spare minute she could with them”.