Father jailed for killing former wife and children

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The Independent Online

A jealous father has been jailed for life for killing his former wife and their two children in a frenzied knife attack.

A jealous father has been jailed for life for killing his former wife and their two children in a frenzied knife attack.

Zainulabedin Zaidi, 34, was found guilty of killing his ex-wife Shazia, daughter Saba, seven, and son Zeeshan, six.

The trial at Reading Crown Court heard he stabbed Shazia before slitting the youngsters' throats at their home in Great Hollands, Bracknell, Berkshire, on March 17 this year.

During the trial the jury was played a tape recording of desperate call one of the children made to the emergency services during the killings.

During the 999 call, which lasted 109 seconds, a child's voice was heard pleading: "Don't kill me daddy", then telling the operator: "My dad is getting my mum and stabbing and killing me."

After the verdicts Detective Superintendent Trevor Davies, of Thames Valley Police, dismissed Zaidi as "a pathetic excuse for a human being".

He condemned him for having pleaded not guilty plea when the evidence against him was so overwhelming.

The scene of crime had been "one of the most appealing sights I have ever seen", Mr Davies said.

Former banker Zaidi, from Slough, Berkshire, who had no previous convictions, slaughtered his ex-wife and children in a jealous rage after his arranged Muslim marriage had irretrievably broken down and his former wife had re-married in a secret ceremony the court was told.

Mr Adrian Redgrave QC, prosecuting, said Zaidi murdered his children "in cold blood" and that "the conclusion is inescapable - the child that was last to die must have witnessed not only the killing of their mother but also the other child".

After the killings, Zaidi bought himself a takeaway curry then sought refuge with a friend in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

He was arrested the following day after nationwide appeals as to his whereabouts.

Zaidi refused to give evidence during the trial and refused to speak to detectives, constantly maintaining his right to silence.

During hours of interviews with police the only sentence he uttered was: "I did not murder my wife and two children."

Forensic evidence linked him to the murders - his former wife's blood was found being spattered on his shoes and on his watch.

The jury took just two and a half-hours to return a unanimous verdict of guilty on all three murders.

Passing the three life sentences, Mr Justice Moses told Zaidi: "I am quite satisfied you came armed with a knife.

"Once in the house you stabbed and cut Shazia's throat. You then stabbed and cut the throats of both your son and daughter. They knew what you were about to do. One of them pleaded with you not to kill them."

Outside the court Shazia's family issued a statement saying: "We are relieved that justice has been served, however this doesn't ease our grief of losing our three cherished loved ones.

"The only comfort we have is that they are happy together in heaven, in peace, and finally free from the misery and torment he brought to their lives."