Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Killer Husband Freed

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Killer Husband Freed

Article excerpt

Byline: By Hilary Clixby

A loving husband in the grip of mental illness when he strangled his wife to death was spared jail yesterday as his family vowed to stand by him.

Abdul and Nusrat Alrahi had been happily married for more than 30 years and were devoted to each other and their four grown-up children, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

But in October last year, Alrahi, a local authority language department manager, began to suffer from depression which left him withdrawn, anxious and paranoid, the court was told.

Although he was prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets, the extent of his illness was not fully appreciated, said Tim Parkin, prosecuting.

And in February this year, in a sudden violent loss of self-control, he strangled his wife to death with her head scarf at the family home in Redewater Avenue, Fenham, Newcastle.

The tragedy was discovered by the couple's son, Sohail, who arrived to find his father on the staircase holding the baby grandson he and Mrs Alrahi had been looking after that day.

Mr Parkin said: "She was fully clothed, but her head scarf was tightly round her neck and she was covered with a shawl."

Alrahi, 59, told police his wife, aged 50, had "given the impression I will be chucked out" adding: "After that I just don't remember anything. It was simply too much. I just couldn't handle it."

Alhari ( who moved to Britain from his native Pakistan in 1962( denied murder and his plea to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility was accepted by the prosecution at an earlier hearing.

Testimonies handed into the court described Alrahi, as a highly-respected man who did a great deal of voluntary work on behalf of the community and was loved by his family who were standing by him.

He was working for Rochdale Council at the time of the killing, returning to the family home at weekends. …

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