Businessman, 50, jailed for strangling his secret second wife to death
‘Cold and calculated’ businessman, 50, is jailed for life for strangling his secret second wife to death after she demanded he leave his first wife for her
- Ameen Thabet, 50, strangled Najeeba Al-Ariqy, 47, to death in her home
- Thabet was convicted of murder at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday
- He was married when he struck up a relationship with Mrs Al-Ariqy, court heard
- Thabet took her as his second wife but their marriage was called ‘turbulent’
- After they split, she agreed to ‘remarry’ him if he divorced his first wife
- Thabet then strangled her in ‘determined killing’ and staged it as a burglary
Ameen Thabet, 50, choked his 47-year-old partner Najeeba Al-Ariqy, originally from Yemen, at her address in Aston, Birmingham on March 23 of last year after she asked him to divorce his first wife, the court heard
A ‘cold and calculated’ businessman who strangled his ‘secret’ second wife to death in her own home and then staged it as a burglary was today jailed for life.
Ameen Thabet, 50, choked his 47-year-old partner Najeeba Al-Ariqy, originally from Yemen, at her address in Aston, Birmingham on March 23 of last year after she asked him to divorce his first wife, the court heard.
Thabet, who runs Linton Metals in Sparkbrook, was convicted of murder by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday. He must remain in jail for a minimum of 18 years before being considered for release.
Sentencing, Judge Melbourne Inman QC called the killing ‘determined’ and ‘sustained’, and reprimanded Thabet for ‘creating a false trail to cover your crime’.
The court heard that Thabet was already married when he struck up a relationship with Mrs Al-Ariqy and decided to take her as his second wife – as permitted in Islam.
They had a small marriage ceremony, referred to as a Nikkah, in her home in 2019, but Thabet kept it a secret from his first wife.
The relationship between the defendant and Mrs Al-Ariqy was turbulent, the court heard. They separated twice that year, agreeing to probation or ‘cooling off’ periods away from each other for a number of weeks.
By early 2020 she agreed to reconcile with Thabet again but on condition that he leave his first wife and publicly marry in a ceremony due to take place that April.
It was also said that another man, from Bahrain, was seeking to marry Mrs Al-Ariqy in what was called a ‘seriously complicating factor’.
But their relationship appeared to go awry again a few days before she died, when doubts emerged over whether Thabet’s mother gave her blessing to the union.
Thabet had been at the property around midday before leaving and returning later that evening, when he then reported her death to emergency services at 6pm.
Thabet had been at the Aston property around midday before leaving and returning later that evening, when he then reported her death to emergency services at 6pm
The 50-year-old from Smethwick, West Midlands, was initially treated as a witness before police arrested and charged him with murder.
Judge Inman QC said: ‘Najeeba was a well-liked, responsible and loving person who did what she could to bring happiness to others.
‘It is clear from the evidence that Najeeba was in two minds whether she would remarry you. On 23 March you went to Najeeba’s home.
‘Najeeba made it clear she would not marry you again unless you were able to divorce your wife. You then strangled Najeeba either with an arm lock or a ligature.
‘She had no idea what you intended and you clearly began to strangle her before she could try to escape or defend herself.
‘This was a determined killing and you strangled her until you were sure she would die. This was sustained violence and her suffering, knowing what was being done to her, must have been very real indeed.
‘This was not a sudden loss of temper. Your actions were cold and calculated and you set about creating a false trail to cover your crime.’
David Walbank QC, defending, said: ‘The jury was correct in their verdict. He accepts he did commit the offence. When he made his way to Sutton Street he had no intention whatsoever of harming Najeeba.
‘The trigger for the tragic events was an argument between them which occurred on his arrival at the property. He accepts that he lost control.’
Mr Walbank said Thabet was deeply remorseful and hoped this belated acceptance would help to bring some closure to the victim’s family and friends.
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