Fiaz Munshi trial: Mr Justice Robin Spencer's sentencing remarks

thisisoxfordshire: Judge Mr Justice Robin Spencer QC Judge Mr Justice Robin Spencer QC

MR JUSTICE Robin Spencer's remarks when sentencing Fiaz Munshi for her part in the deaths of  Anum and Majid Khan

They were the youngest children of the family. In their short lives they brought great joy and happiness to their parents and to their brother and sisters.

I have read in full the harrowing victim personal statements made by members of the family. Those moving statements reveal very clearly the depths of the sadness and desolation the family felt and still feel at the loss of these two precious much-loved children.

Those feelings are as raw now as they were 17 years ago. No sentence I can pass will ease that pain.

I am quite sure as well that it was you who bore the greatest grudge towards the family. You had been in love with the eldest son of the family, Amjad Ali Khan.

It had been a deeply close and emotional relationship. When he was arrested for dealing in Class A drugs and sent to prison, the family blamed you and your sister, and your sister’s boyfriend Haroon Sharif, for the bad influence they believed you had exercised over Amjad.

You resented that. Your resentment increased when the family tried to stop you seeing Amjad in prison.

Your resentment grew to anger and spilt over in two unseemly episodes of violence, one at your home, the other in Oxford city centre in broad daylight.

I am quite sure it was this simmering resentment and anger towards the family which was the motivation for the fire that night.

There was no restriction on your leaving the country when you did. You were not on bail. It is true that your father was seriously ill in Pakistan.

However, I have no doubt that it was more than coincidence that you left this country when you did and I have no doubt that your motive for doing so was not purely to look after your father.

Just two days after your departure your sister, your boyfriend and the other defendants were all arrested and charged.

Had you remained in the UK you too would have been arrested and charged and tried along with the others in 1998.

You have shown no genuine remorse whatsoever, either at the time, or when you were arrested last year, or during the course of the trial.

The way in which you gave evidence, and the way in which the trial was conducted on your behalf, with all manner of serious allegations against members of the family, only added to the distress of the family.

You are now 38 years old. You have made a new life for yourself. You have four children whom you have not seen since you were arrested in October last year.

For understandable reasons the view was taken that it was better for the time being that your children did not know that you were in prison and why you were there.

Your children are further victims of your own serious criminal conduct.

But you must have known in your heart of hearts, when you married and had children, that there might eventually be a day of reckoning resulting in a long prison sentence.

In the result you have enjoyed years of freedom and family life that you should never then have had.

The day of reckoning has now arrived.

You cared nothing for the most fundamental human right of all, the right to life of the two children whose deaths you helped cause.

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