Pizzeria owner, 44, who murdered his maths teacher wife, 28, is jailed for 18 years
A pizzeria owner has been sentenced to life in prison after killing his wife and leaving her body undiscovered in an unmarked grave for nearly seven months.
Nezam Salangy, 44, told officers his wife Zobaidah Salangy, 28, “had run away and never returned” when questioned about her disappearance.
He was found guilty of the murder of his partner aged eight years at Worcester Crown Court and was sentenced today to life imprisonment with a minimum of 18 years before being eligible for parole.
Salangy attacked his wife on March 29, 2020, before burying her in the woods near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, under cover of darkness.
But the clumsy police did not discover her body until more than six months later and charged her husband in connection with her death.
Salangy’s younger brothers Mohammed Yasin, 34, and 31-year-old Mohammed Ramin Salangy, who worked at another pizzeria, were also convicted along with their older brother for helping him cover up the crime.
Mohammed Ramin was given a six-year sentence and Mohammed Yasin was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for their part in the murder.
Nezam Salangy, 44, was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison today for murdering his wife Zobaidah Salangy, 28, pictured, on March 29, 2020, and then burying her in woodland near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, under cover of darkness. Her body was found in October 2020 tied in curtain wire and wrapped in garbage bags with a duvet cover and matching pillowcases found in the couple’s home
Ramin traveled 90 miles by taxi from his and Yasin’s home in Adamscroft Place, Cardiff, Wales, to help bury the victim.
The court was told that Mohammed Yasin Salangi became involved in covering up Zobaidah’s death due to “family pressure and misplaced loyalty to his eldest brother.”
None of the defendants gave their defense and the 11 jurors reached a verdict in just under 14 hours.
Zobaidah had told the family she was going for a jog during the lockdown on March 28, when the UK had just entered a nationwide lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19.
After she didn’t return, Salangy, of Talbot Road, Bromsgrove, reported his wife’s disappearance to the police and told them that ‘she had gone for a run and never came back’, having left him for a ‘new friend the prosecutors said.
After nearly seven months since she went missing, West Mercia police officers discovered Zobaidah’s body in Copyholt Lane, Bromsgrove on October 16, 2020.
Her body was found just 4.5 miles away, a seven-minute drive, from where Salangy lived in Talbot Road.
The couple married in November 2012 under an arranged marriage in Afghanistan, where Zobaidah was a math teacher, before moving to the UK in 2013.
During the trial, it was learned that Zobaidah and Salangy had had a “bitter argument” the day before she disappeared on March 28, 2020.
When her body was found, it was tied in curtain wire and wrapped in garbage bags with a duvet cover that later matched pillowcases found at the couple’s home.
Timothy Hannam QC, who defended the Salangy, argued that Zobaidah’s death was not “planned or premeditated.”
He told the court: ‘Nezam has shown great resilience in surviving the attention of the Taliban and mujahideen.
“He was building a life here and at home that he and his family could be proud of.
“It is a tragedy for everyone involved for Zobaidah’s family, his family, him and his brothers because what could have been a positive and long life for others has been damaged beyond repair.”
But Judge Nicholas Hilliard told the defendants: “All three defendants came to this country in difficult circumstances and made an effort to settle but wasted it because of what happened.”
Salangy was granted asylum status in the UK in 2002 when he was 24 after leaving Afghanistan to flee the Taliban and mujahideen
The court heard that he had left Afghanistan and was trafficked by land and sea through a ‘dangerous’ journey to successfully gain asylum in the UK.
Husband Salangy’s pizzeria, Prego Pizza on Austin Road in Bromsgrove (pictured), became part of the crime scene after police found her phone hidden behind other items and wrapped in bubble wrap on a high shelf inside the store.
Her family paid tribute to Zobaidah, saying: ‘Zobaidah was a kind mother to her children and a responsible wife to her husband.
“During contact with the family, her grief and suffering became apparent. She would say everything is fine and I’m taking care of the kids.
Zobaidah studied under the most difficult conditions in Afghanistan and was admitted to university with high marks.
“She had many aspirations for Afghanistan and the UK. She was brutally taken from us and her children.
“We will suffer from this for the rest of our lives. This pain, this suffering and this misery will never go away, but what can lessen our pain is when justice is served. Justice can comfort us all.”
They added that she loved people of all colors, races and beliefs and wanted to start a career as a health professional.
Simon Denison QC, who opened the prosecution’s case at the start of the six-week trial that ended today, said it was an “unfortunate fact” of the case that Ms Salangy’s body was initially missed by police when a first excavation at the site near Worcestershire village of Lower Bentley took place in April 2020.
Due to the six-and-a-half months between her death and the discovery of her body, no cause of death could be found.
Police returned to the site in October 2020, ‘convinced’ she must be there, and then found her body buried in the woods at the fork between Copyholt Lane and Black Lake Lane in Bromsgrove (pictured)
Denison added: ‘They thought that a hard layer of soil they reached was a natural base under which no one would dig.
“So they stopped the search there and didn’t find the body at that stage.”
Police returned to the scene in October 2020, “convinced” she must be there, and then found her body buried in the woods at the fork of the road between Copyholt Lane and Black Lake Lane in Bromsgrove.
Husband Salangy’s pizzeria, Prego Pizza on Austin Road in Bromsgrove, became part of the crime scene after police found her phone hidden behind other items and wrapped in bubble wrap on a high shelf in the store.
A second device was also found, believed to have been used to hide her body with his brothers.