EXCLUSIVE: Gangster who killed woman is too dangerous to be deported
EXCLUSIVE: Gang member who raped, tortured and murdered young woman on the orders of her father in ‘honour’ killing that shocked Britain is still too dangerous to be released and deported
- Mohamad Hama, then 30, is serving life after being found guilty of murder
A gang member behind the savage ‘honour’ killing of a young woman who rejected an arranged marriage, dramatised in a TV show starring Keeley Hawes, is still too dangerous to be released and deported, it’s been ruled.
Mohamad Hama, then 30, is serving life after being found guilty of murder as part of a gang of thugs who tortured, raped and strangled 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod, in January 2006.
The horrific murder shone a light on the reality of so-called honour killings and the 2020 ITV drama Honour about the investigation into the disappearance and murder of Banaz sparked a debate about how to help victims.
The real killing shocked the UK as it was carried out on the orders of Banaz’s own father Mahmod Mahmod and her uncle Ari Mahmod because she had fallen in love with a man they thought unsuitable and had fled an arranged marriage.
The Iraqi Kurd born brothers, who had made their home in Mitcham, south-west London, arranged the ‘barbaric’ and ‘callous’ murder to restore their families ‘honour.’
Mohamad Hama, then 30, is serving life after being found guilty of murder as part of a gang of thugs who tortured, raped and strangled 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod, in January 2006
Banaz’s body was put in a suitcase, transported to a house in Handsworth, Birmingham and buried in the garden. Her body was discovered three months later
To commit the crime, Ari Mahmod recruited Hama, along with Mohammed Saleh Ali and Omar Hussain, who murdered Banaz in the family home on the morning of January, 24, 2006.
Banaz’s body was put in a suitcase, transported to a house in Handsworth, Birmingham and buried in the garden. Her body was discovered three months later.
After a difficult investigation, Hama and other members of the plot, including Mahmod Mahmod and Ari Mahmod, were arrested in February 2006.
Hama pleaded guilty to murder shortly after the start of an Old Bailey trial in 2007 and was sentenced to life, with a minimum term of 17 years.
He is the first of the killers to face a parole hearing and this was his second application. The hearing in May was complicated by the fact that Hama faces deportation to the Kurdish controlled area of Iraq when he is released.
The Parole Board is under an obligation to make sure that Hama is not a danger to anyone outside the UK, despite the fact that Iraq is deemed so dangerous the Foreign Office warns against most travel there.
MailOnline has obtained the written summary of the Parole Board panel. It states: ‘The panel noted that there would need to be an assessment of risk management overseas because Mr Hama is likely to face deportation.
‘The Parole Board must consider the risk to the public wherever they might be in the world.’
The summary also refers to Hama’s dangerous beliefs at the time of the killing
It states: ‘At the time of his offending, these risk factors had included his views of the ‘honour culture’ in which he grew up, his beliefs that condoned or upheld honour-based violence, a belief that women are ‘property’ and that they should be punished if perceived to be bringing shame or dishonour to their family.’
The report continued: ‘He had undertaken an accredited programme to address his decision making, however, it was determined that there remained a need for further work.’
The panel concluded: ‘After considering the circumstances of his offending, the progress made while in custody and the evidence presented in the dossier, the panel was not satisfied that Mr Hama was suitable for release.
‘Nor did the panel recommend to the Secretary of State that he should be transferred to an open prison.’
The trial of Hama, Banaz’s father Mahmod Mahmod, then 54 and his brother Ari, 51, heard horrific details of the killing taken from a covert recording made of Hama when he was on remand at Belmarsh prison, south-east London.
In the sick call to a friend he bragged about how Banza was brutally raped and stamped on during a two-hour ordeal before being garroted.
He admitted ‘slapping’ and ‘f***ing’ Banaz, who was subjected to degrading sex acts.
Hama and his friend were heard laughing as he described how she was killed in her family home in Mitcham, South London, with Ari Mahmod ‘supervising’.
The murderers – two other suspects had fled to Iraq at the time of the trial – had been told Banaz would be on her own.
Hama is recorded as saying: ‘Ari (the uncle) said there is no one there. There was someone there, Biza (her sister). The bastard lied to us.’
He said of the murder: ‘I swear to God it took him more than two hours. Her soul and her life would not leave.’
Banaz was garotted for five minutes, said Hama, but it took another half an hour for her to die.
The horrific murder shone a light on the reality of so-called honour killings and the 2020 ITV drama Honour (pictured) about the investigation into the disappearance and murder of Banaz sparked a debate about how to help victims
In the two-part ITV drama, Keeley Hawkes (pictured) played the role of Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode, who led the investigation
Hama said: ‘The wire was thick and the soul would not just leave like that.
‘We could not remove it. All in all it took five minutes (to strangle) her.
‘I was kicking and stamping on her neck to get the soul out. I saw her stark naked, without wearing pants or underwear.’
The tape directly implicated her uncle, Ari Mahmod, and her cousins, Mohammed Saleh Ali, Omar Hussain and Dana Amin.
The recordings, coupled with phone and vehicle tracking data, enabled Banaz’s remains to be located.
Her body was found on April 28, 2006 but was so badly decomposed that DNA samples could not be taken.
The court was told that the murder was the sadistic conclusion of years of terror for Banaz, who had been forced into an arranged marriage aged 17 to a man twice her age.
Banaz eventually fled the marriage after two years of abuse despite her families’ anger and returned to the family home in July 2005 and started a relationship with fellow Kurd Rahmat Sulemani.
From December 2005 to January 2006 Banaz told police four times that her family had wanted her dead and described the litany of sexual violence she had been forced to endure at the hands of her abusive husband.
In a recorded interview with police prior to her death Banaz told an officer that she was being followed by members of the Iraqi-Kurdish community.
She said: ‘People following me. Still now they follow me.
‘That’s the main reason that I came to the police station. In the future at any time if anything happens to me, it’s them.’
He would later give evidence at the trial, revealing that he and Banaz had been threatened with death if they carried on seeing each other.
While the lovers continued to meet in secret they were spotted together outside Morden tube station, south-west London, in December 2005.
Banaz’s father was informed and arranged the horrific killing of his own daughter.
During the Old Bailey trial it emerged that on New Year’s Eve, 2005, a bleeding and terrified Banaz had told PC Angela Cornes that her father had just tried to kill her
DCI Goode (pictured) was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2012 for her work on the investigation
During the Old Bailey trial it emerged that on New Year’s Eve, 2005, a bleeding and terrified Banaz had told PC Angela Cornes that her father had just tried to kill her.
However the police officer dismissed her as ‘dramatic and calculating’ and instead considered charging her with criminal damage for breaking a window during her escape.
Banaz was killed three weeks later.
Banaz’s father and uncle were unanimously found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 20 and 23 years respectively.
At sentencing, judge Brian Barker said: ‘This offence was designed to carry a wider message to the community to discourage legal behaviour of girls and women in this country.
‘Having endured a short and unhappy marriage she made the mistake of falling in love with a Kurdish man that you and your community thought was unsuitable.
‘So, to restore your so-called family honour you decided she should die and her memory be erased. This was a barbaric and a callous crime.’
At a second murder trial Banaz’s cousins Mohammed Saleh Ali and Omar Hussain were both also convicted of murder and jailed for 20 and 21 years respectively.
In December 2013, Dana Amin was found guilty and jailed for eight years for helping to dispose of Banaz’s body.
Hama, now 46, was informed on the 18th May that his parole appeal had been turned down.
A spokesperson for the Parole Board said: ‘We can confirm that a panel of the Parole Board refused the release of Mohamad Hama following an oral hearing. The panel also refused to recommend a move to open prison.
‘Parole Board decisions are solely focused on what risk a prisoner could represent to the public if released and whether that risk is manageable in the community.’
Banaz’s younger sister Payzee, who gave evidence against her father, successfully campaigned for a change in marriage laws increasing the legal age of marriage to 18.
In the two-part ITV drama Honour, Keeley Hawkes stars as Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode, who led the investigation.
Keeley Hawes said of the police investigation in 2020: ‘They were determined to get justice for Banaz. To find her body and extradite two of the guilty men from Iraq, which had never been done before. Not a moment went by when we weren’t talking or thinking about Banaz. I still find it emotional today.’
DCI Goode was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2012 for her work.
Banaz’s boyfriend Rahmet Sulemani gave evidence at the first two trials despite death threats. He went into police protection afterwards, but never recovered. He took his own life in 2016.
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