Mother, 27, stabbed to death in Bradford while pushing baby in pram is named

Kulsuma Akter was stabbed to death in Bradford on Saturday

Holly Evans,Barney Davis
Monday 08 April 2024 20:34 BST
Bradford stabbing victim named by police

A mother who was fatally stabbed to death while pushing her baby in a pram in Bradford has been named as 27-year-old Kulsuma Akter.

A national manhunt has been launched for suspect Habibur Masum, who is believed to have entered the UK on a student visa from Bangladesh.

It has since emerged that Greater Manchester Police have referred themselves to the police watchdog the IOPC over previous contact with the victim and Masum.

Officers are appealing for members of the public to report any sightings of Habibur Masum (West Yorkshire Police)

Masum was conditionally bailed by Manchester Magistrates’ Court in November, despite prosecutors objecting to his release.

Masum pleaded not guilty to both offences at a hearing on November 27 last year and was ordered not to contact Ms Akter, it is understood.

CCTV of Habibur Masum after the Bradford attack (West Yorkshire Police/PA Wire)

His bail conditions also prevented him from contacting a second person, or visiting a particular address.

Court documents show that Masum, whose address was listed as Oldham, Greater Manchester, was charged with threatening to kill Ms Akter on November 24 and assaulting her on November 23. Both offences were alleged to have happened in Manchester.

Officers hunting for the alleged killer have also arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of assisting an offender, following raids at addresses in Burnley, Chester and Oldham.

Emergency services were called to the Westgate area of the city centre at 3.21pm on Saturday after receiving reports that a woman had been stabbed multiple times.

The mother was stabbed several times in the neck in Bradford shopping centre (West Yorkshire Police/PA)

Despite their best efforts, Ms Akter was pronounced dead in hospital.

Addressing a press conference on Monday afternoon, West Yorkshire Police Officer Assistant Chief Constable Damien Miller said: “On Saturday April 6, shortly before 3.20pm Kulsuma Akter was walking in Bradford city centre.

“Kulsuma was with her young baby at this time, and was walking along Westgate when she was attacked and stabbed multiple times.”

“The emergency services were called at 3:21pm. However, despite the best efforts of members of the public, ambulance crews, and hospital staff, Kulsuma sadly lost her life due to the injuries.

“Her baby is safe and well and was not harmed in this incident.”

CCTV quickly identified Masum as a suspect and the last confirmed sightings saw him getting on a bus on Market Street at 3.30pm, before exiting at 3.42pm.

Recalling the horrific moment Ms Akter was stabbed, shopkeeper Geo Khan said: “I was sitting in my shop and heard screaming. I came out and I tried to check the pulse. There was no pulse.”

He said: “Blood was all over on the floor and there were stab wounds in her neck.”

Mr Khan added that woman who died came into his shop the day before the incident, and he believes she only came to the area a few weeks ago.

He said: “She was a very, very innocent person – the smile on her face.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Masum studied for a masters in marketing and digital marketing at the University of Bedfordshire between 2021 and 2023.

He reportedly received support from Samin’s UK Visas Support Centre in applying for a Schengen visa, after approaching organiser Samin Ahmed in December.

Mr Ahmed said: “I (was) shocked when I heard this news, he is a familiar person nearby me. I did not know anything. I am really shocked.”

A photograph of Masum’s Schengen visa was posted to the Samin’s UK visas support centre Facebook group in January, and social media images show that he recently travelled to Barcelona.

It came as police hunting Masum conducted “a number of raids” in Burnley, Oldham, and Chester.

Assistant Chief Constable Damien Miller added: “There is significant resources conducting CCTV and house-to-house inquiries.

“And we also have local Bradford officers carrying out increased patrols in the area, which I hope will be of some reassurance to residents.

“With the support of other forces we’ve conducted a number of raids in the Burnley and Oldham and Chester areas in the search for Masum, and during the searches a 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and is now in police custody.”

He said Masum was last seen walking in the direction of a park having got off a bus.

“Masum is a slim Asian man and was last seen wearing a duffle coat with three large horizontal lines, grey tracksuit bottoms and maroon trainers,” he said.

“On Saturday he was captured on CCTV getting on a bus.

“He was last seen walking in the direction of Bradford Moor Park, this is our last confirmed sighting of him.”

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