Gosport husband tried to kill his wife in strangling attack after she planned to flee

A JEALOUS husband strangled his wife and stabbed her twice in a murderous rage after discovering she was set to flee their home for a refuge.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 8:52 am

Controlling Mannan Khedapa, 48, had been secretly tracking his wife Fatema’s phone via a clandestine app, monitoring her calls, messages and location when on January 6 he discovered a conversation about plans to leave their Gosport home.

When he returned home from his night shift, he was armed with a small kitchen knife, Stanley knife and lanyard as he walked into the bedroom he shared with his wife of 20 years and locked the door.

At first she thought he was about to hug her as he sat next to her and put his hand on her shoulder, prosecutor Simon Jones said.

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Mannan Khedapa was jailed at Portsmouth Crown Court for the attempted murder of his wife Fatema Khedapa on January 7 in Gosport. Picture: Hampshire police

Would-be killer used ‘lanyard’ around wife’s neck

‘It was then she felt something tight around her neck,’ Mr Jones told Portsmouth Crown Court.

Fuelled by ‘jealousy and control’ Khedapa gripped the lanyard around her neck so tight she could not fit a single finger into the ligature as she scrambled to break free.

Fatema ‘momentarily’ passed out before waking up screaming as her husband, 10 years her senior, brandished a kitchen knife. In a struggle he lost the blade but took out a Stanley knife and continued to attack.

She suffered two puncture wounds to her back, marks to her neck, scratches to her chest, cuts to her arms and bruises but survived.

Mr Jones said: ‘Armed with those knives and a form of ligature to use on her neck, he had only one thought and that was clearly to kill her.’

Police were called at 6.50am with two officers arriving to see Khedapa still strangling his wife with both arms around her neck still in the bedroom. They burst into the Parker Close home and wrestled him away.

Husband lied to police claiming he did not stab his wife

Khedapa repeated lie after lie, claiming he used the ligature around his wife’s body to restrain her and that he had wedged a knife into the bed.

Today he is behind bars after a judge jailed the pharmaceutical worker for 11 years and four months following a probe by Hampshire police.

Addressing the defendant, judge Timothy Mousley QC said: ‘I’m satisfied by the time you entered the bedroom you had formed the intention to kill your wife and to that extent your actions were premeditated.

‘Prior to that point you had already formed an intention to cause very serious harm.’

He added that a statement in June this year said Fatema was ‘not fully recovered from the physical injuries which she sustained, she still feels constant pain’.

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‘Mentally she’s been very deeply affected,’ he said. ‘She feels unable to trust people. She becomes scared at the slightest noise. She’s moved away and changed her job.’

He added: ‘The mental scars which you caused her are much worse than the physical scars.’

Late in 2019 Khedapa had wrongly told colleagues that his wife was cheating on him, and that she was poisoning his food.

Partner just wanted to make husband happy

In reality she only wanted to make him happy, the judge said. He ruled Khedapa was controlling his wife at least financially, and then by using the phone app.

Khedapa has no previous convictions and admitted attempted murder and two charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Tom Wainwright, mitigating, said: ‘This is a man who has lost everything through his own actions. He had a good career in pharmacy working, in the armed forces, and standing in the community.’

He added: ‘He feels great, great shame for his actions’. Mr Wainwright said his client ‘takes responsibility for his actions,’ adding he will now be ‘blacklisted and shamed’ in his community.

A restraining order bans Khedapa from contacting his wife.

Violent criminal sought ‘ultimate control’ over victim

Domestic abuse charities have said Khedapa sought ‘ultimate control’ over his wife and victims are at the highest risk when they are leaving abusive partners.

Claire Lambon, Stop Domestic Abuse chief executive, said the victim was ‘lucky in this case that she wasn’t killed’ as many domestic homicides happen at the point a victim leaves their perpetrator.

She said: ‘It’s so dangerous because the perpetrator is going to lose control.

‘All the time the is still living with the perpetrator, the perpetrator continues control. At the point she leaves his power and control is eroded.

‘The ultimate power and control is ending that person's life or attempting to do that.’

Refuges remain open in Portsmouth and Hampshire and referrals are also open, she said.

She added: ‘We have to challenge the perception that leaving is safe – it brings a whole lot of risks.

‘What we want to do is encourage women and men affected by domestic abuse to seek help and leave but we have to ensure that a package of support is in place.’

Shonagh Dillon, Aurora New Dawn charity’s chief executive, said: ‘The actions of Mannan Khedapa are sadly not a surprise to us at Aurora, it is clear, like many perpetrators that he demanded the ultimate control.

‘When victims leave their partners they are at particular risk of homicide and tragically, one woman loses her life every three days in the UK, as a result of male violence.

‘More needs to be done to ensure victims voices are heard and they are supported to leave safely, even more needs to be done to hold perpetrators to account for their actions.

‘Our thoughts are with Fatema and we hope she is able to begin to heal from her trauma.’

Increase in calls to charities

Self-referrals to Stop Domestic Abuse were 88 per cent higher in June than in March and April as restrictions eased

Calls to the charity’s advice lines were 57 per cent higher than in March and April.

In the same month 35 per cent more adults were being supported by the charity on a one-to-one basis at any one time compared to February.

:: If you are experiencing control and abuse from a current or former partner please call Aurora on (023) 9421 6816.

:: Call SDA on 0330 016 5112.

:: Call 999 in an emergency and tap the phone or cough and listen to instructions, and then press 55 when prompted if you cannot speak.