Wife died after rolling pin attack


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The Independent Online

An 80-year-old woman died after her husband struck her with a rolling pin during a "tragic" argument, an inquest has heard.

Manzoor Begum was found unconscious and bleeding in her home on Salt Street in Bradford in October 2010.

An inquest at Bradford Coroner's Court heard that she and her 78-year-old husband, Ali Mohammed Sher, were both injured during the argument.

Detective Superintendent Dave Pervin, of West Yorkshire Police, told the inquest the couple's sons found their parents, who had been married for around 60 years, collapsed and furniture upturned in the kitchen dining area.

Mr Pervin said: "Mr Sher, who was injured and conscious, told some of the witnesses present that he and his wife had argued and she had hit him over the head with a stick and he'd hit her back and he thought he may have killed her."

Describing the findings of forensic examinations of the scene, the detective added: "While Mr Sher's hands were wet with his own blood, he's used the walking stick to support himself and used the rolling pin to strike Manzoor Begum."

Mr Pervin said Mr Sher and Mrs Begum both sustained injuries while trying to defend themselves.

He said: "What's unclear from the evidence and can probably never be established is who of the two of them was the aggressor in this argument, who assaulted who first and with what and what it was that led to this argument after so many years of happy marriage."

Mrs Begum, who suffered a cut to her scalp and several impact injuries to her head, arms and hands, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

A post-mortem examination found that she had died from sudden cardiac arrest due to underlying heart disease in combination with the blows she received to her head and blood loss from the scalp wound.

Mr Sher suffered fractures to his wrist and fingers and a non-severe head injury and was treated in hospital for six to seven weeks.

He was initially arrested on suspicion of his wife's murder but was never well enough to be interviewed by police and died nine months later from dementia with pneumonia and diabetes.

Mr Pervin said: "It's very clear that Mr Ali Sher really could not live without his wife and I think there's an element of he gave up the will when he lost his wife."

Recording an open verdict, coroner Roger Whittaker described the situation as "tragic".

"It's a great tragedy after so long in a happy marriage that it all ends like this," he said.

Speaking after the inquest, the couple's son Khalil Hussain said: "The verdict is based on the evidence they have got in front of them.

"I know my mother and father were very loving and caring to each other."