A pizza shop owner who murdered his wife and claimed she had left him for another man has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 18 years.
Nezam Salangy, 44, continued to protest his innocence as he was condemned in court for using bank accounts and phone messages to create fake leads appearing to show that Zobaidah Salangy was still alive.
A trial at Worcester Crown Court was told Salangy buried his spouse at night in a “deep” makeshift grave and pretended to have no knowledge of her whereabouts until she was found six months later.
His 34-year-old brother Mohammed Yasin Salangi, who was involved in planning the cover-up, was jailed for four years and nine months, while another younger brother, Mohammed Ramin Salangi, who helped move and bury the body, was jailed for six years.
The younger brothers, of Adamscroft Place, Caerphilly, near Cardiff, were both convicted last month of assisting an offender.
The men’s trial was told that Nezam killed his wife of eight years on March 28 2020 and 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.
Passing sentence on Thursday, Mr Justice Hilliard accepted that both younger brothers, who each served alongside Allied forces in Afghanistan, were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Condemning aspects of the case as a “shameful” attempt to create a false trail, the judge told Nezam Salangy: “It’s plain that the marriage had been unhappy for some time.”
Ruling that the business owner had considered killing his wife ahead of the murder, the judge 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 disposal of the body at a site near Lower Bentley, Worcestershire, was an aggravating factor in the murder, the judge said.
“She was not given a proper burial but was hidden to cover up the murder,” the judge added. “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 and came to the UK in 2002 after his family was targeted by the Taliban.
He divorced his first wife in 2010 and married Zobaidah, a friend of his sister, in an arranged marriage in 2012, initially settling in Birmingham.
The court heard that he continues to claim that the body found near Bromsgrove was not that of his wife and she is still alive.
Zobaidah, the court heard, “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.
The family statement added: “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.”