Life sentence for Bromsgrove pizza shop owner who killed wife to 'cover up' her disappearance

Nezam Salangy killed his wife Zobaidah in 2020
Nezam Salangy killed his wife Zobaidah Salangy Credit: West Mercia Police/PA Media

A pizza shop owner from Worcestershire who killed his wife and buried her body in a makeshift grave, has been jailed for life with a minimum term of eighteen years.

Nezam Salangy, who is 44, and from Austin Road in Bromsgrove, claimed that his 28-year old wife Zobaidah Salangy, had gone for "a run", and left him for another man, and that she was still alive.

A trial at Worcester Crown Court was told Salangy pretended to have no knowledge of her whereabouts, until she was found in a grave six months later.

Zobaidah Salangy Credit: PA Images

He continued to protest his innocence in court as he tried to use bank accounts and phone messages as fake leads, to deceive others into thinking Zobaidah was still alive.

Salangy, who is originally from Northern Afghanistan, is believed to have attacked and killed his wife of eight years, at their pizza business.

Mohammed Yasin Salangy and Ramin Salangy Credit: West Mercia Police

His brother Mohammed Yasin Salangy, who is 34, was involved in planning the cover-up. He was jailed for four years and nine months.

Another younger brother, Mohammed Ramin Salangy, who helped move and bury the body, was jailed for six years.

The brothers from Adamscroft Place in Caerphilly near Cardiff, were both convicted last month of assisting an offender.

How did Zobaidah Salangy die at the hands of her husband and his family ?

- The men's trial was told that Nezam killed his wife on March 28th 2020.

- He then rang his brothers asking for help to dispose of her body.

- Mohammed Ramin travelled to Bromsgrove by taxi to help hide his sister-in-law's body, under the pretence of delivering a part for a broken pizza oven.

Salangy then reported his wife missing to police, saying "she had gone out for a run and never come back" after leaving him for a "new boyfriend".

Mr Justice Hilliard accepted that both younger brothers, who each served alongside Allied forces in Afghanistan, were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Nezam Salangy Credit: West Mercia Police

He told Nezam Salangy:

"It's plain that the marriage had been unhappy for some time."

He ruled that Salangy had considered killing his wife before the murder, and told him:

"I am sure that you had been violent to her, slapping her on occasions with an open hand and pulling her hair, which made her cut it short.

"Zobaidah had contemplated taking her own life and it is desperately sad that it had come to that.

"In one recording (found after the murder) you appeared to rule out a divorce and said that either she died or you did.

"It's clear that the relationship had completely broken down. I am sure you intended to kill her."

The grave site of Zobaidah Salangy in woodland at the fork of the road between Copyholt Lane and Black Lake Lane in Bromsgrove Credit: Google Street View

The judge said the disposal of Zobaidah's body in a makeshift grave at a site near Lower Bentley in Worcestershire, was an aggravating factor in the murder.

Mr Justice Hilliard said:

"She was not given a proper burial but was hidden to cover up the murder... She remained there for six-and-a-half months and the pathologist could not give a cause of death as a result."

Nezam Salangy was born in Afghanistan in 1978. He came to the UK in 2002 after his family was targeted by the Taliban.

After divorcing his first wife in 2010, he married Zobaidah, a friend of his sister, in an arranged marriage in 2012, and the couple initially settled in Birmingham.

In a victim impact statement read into the court record during the sentencing hearing, Zobaidah's family said:

"We are still in deep shock and misery.

"Zobaidah loved people of all races and beliefs and wanted to start a career in the medical profession, having studied and achieved high grades at college in difficult conditions in Afghanistan.

"She was brutally and cruelly taken away from us... and our human society.

"This pain, suffering and misery will never go away and we will never forget about it."