06:16PM, Wednesday 11 September 2019
Police at the murder scene in May
A man who stabbed his friend to death in broad daylight after thinking he was having an affair with his wife has been jailed for life for murder.
Aqib Pervaiz, 27, from Rochford Gardens, had purchased a kitchen knife from the Slough Tesco Extra store in Wellington Street minutes before his brutal attack, the court heard.
Pervaiz then took the weapon out of its packaging and fatally stabbed 24-year-old Nadeem Mohammed in the store car park on Wednesday, May 8 of this year.
The eight-inch blade made contact with both of Mr Mohammed’s lungs and he died at the scene from his injuries.
Pervaiz pleaded guilty at Reading Crown Court on Friday to murder and possession of a bladed article in a public place and was sentenced to life imprisonment today (Wednesday), with a minimum of 22 years behind bars.
He also received a concurrent sentence of 18 months for possession of a bladed article.
Mr Mohammed – whose wife was eight months pregnant – and Pervaiz were former work colleagues at the Poundland store in Slough High Street.
Prosecutor Alan Blake told the court that both men ‘seemed like best friends and were always laughing together’.
Mr Mohammed lived in Southall with his wife Afshar Afshar and would commute via train to his retail job, where he held responsibilty as a manager.
The court heard how the Tesco superstore was a regular meeting place for the pair, who shared lunch breaks and New Year’s celebrations together.
Mr Blake added: “In early 2019 it was apparent that Mr Pervaiz was developing misconceived concerns that there was some communication between Nadeem Mohammed and [his] wife [Saima Munir].
“Pervaiz’s suspicions seemed to have been aroused by the fact that his wife became aware that he had started drinking alcohol on occasions with Mr Mohammed.
“She started to smell it on him. On January 19, when she was on maternity leave, Pervaiz challenged her, saying that she was spying on him.
“When she smelled alcohol on him on another occasion, he responded by saying to her: ‘how do you know I have had alcohol?’
“Pervaiz concluded that the source of her information must be Nadeem Mohammed himself.”
The court also learned that Saima Munir had given Pervaiz her phone for two days to prove that there had been no communication between the pair.
“By early May it was apparent that Mr Pervaiz’s suspicions had developed into paranoia,” Mr Blake added.
On May 4 – just days before the attack – a row broke out between Pervaiz and his wife, when he claimed that Mr Mohammed had admitted the two had been in contact.
It was at this point that she arranged for her uncle to go with Pervaiz to meet with Mr Mohammed and ‘have a chat’.
On that Saturday morning, Mr Mohammed assured his colleague that there had been no contact and Pervaiz returned home saying: “It is all done.”
Two days later, Pervaiz handed in his resignation letter at Poundland and developed the idea of moving to Birmingham to be with the rest of his family.
Colleagues recall seeing Pervaiz crying at work after CCTV images picked him up having a ‘heated conversation’ with Mr Mohammed.
On the day of the murder, Pervaiz had been dropped off in Slough town centre by his wife, telling her he was going to buy some cheap cigarettes before returning home, the court heard.
He then withdrew £250 in cash from the nearby Santander branch, before making his way to Tesco just after midday.
He selected a drink and a sandwich and made his way to the kitchen knife aisle, where he chose a blade, before taking his items to the checkout.
Pervaiz made his way out of the store to the car park, where he waited about 13 minutes for Mr Mohammed to arrive.
Several calls were made from Pervaiz’s phone to his victim between 10:44am and 12:24pm that day.
The court was shown CCTV footage of Pervaiz walking up behind Mr Mohammed before stabbing him in the chest, causing him to fall to the floor.
In the aftermath of his crime, Pervaiz ran off towards his family home where he asked for a lift to Gerrards Cross train station.
The court heard how his uncle took him there – and, in a statement read out in court, said that his nephew had a ‘zombiefied look about him’.
Pervaiz then requested a taxi to Birmingham, and surrendered to police on Thursday, May 9.
Gary Bell, defending, said: “This is a terribly tragic case.
“The defendant was obviously suffering from mental health problems, and was taking medication for depression while he was in Pakistan.
“He began to have delusions that his wife was having an affair with the deceased.”
Summing up her verdict, Judge Heather Norton said: “Despite the best efforts of passers-by and two police officers who happened to be in the vicinity, [Mr Mohammed’s] life could not be saved.
“Why you made the decision to stab (Mr Mohammed), only you will know.
“He posed no threat to you whatsoever.”
She added that Pervaiz’s apparent mental illness was not a mitigating factor in the case, and that his actions had been carried out with the intention to kill.
A victim statement from Mr Mohammed’s wife was read to the court. The court had previously heard how she had fled the UK to return to her home country India, as she no longer felt safe here.
“Please understand my pain. Do justice to me, my daughter, my family, and most importantly, justice to (Mr Mohammed),” it read.
“He always wished for a baby girl.
“I am struggling with crippling grief and sorrow. I have nothing left to live for, except for my daughter.”
His father – Hameed Mohammed – also wrote a statement which was read aloud to the court.
It read: “By doing these things, Aqib has given a very strange proof of friendship.
“I am really scared of the word friendship. Not a single day has passed that tears didn’t fall from my eyes.
“Nadeem’s whole family has been murdered.”
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