Jump to main content
Times Online
Archive Classified Shopping Promotions Games Fast Times My Times

TIMES ONLINE
Home
Breaking news
Britain
World
Sport
Business
Your Money
Comment
Sports Book
Travel
Entertainment
Shopping
Law
Classifieds
Games
Crossword
Motoring
Property
Health
Student
Sunday Times
NEWSPAPER
Sunday
Today
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
QUICK CLICKS
Appointments
Arts
Books
Clearing
Contact Us
Creme
Education
Encounters
Fast Times
Film
Finest
First night
Food and Drink
From the Archive
Good University Guide
Online Specials
Photosales
Promotions
Public Agenda
Style Guide
Subscription
Supplements
Talking Point
Television and Radio
The Register
Times e-mail
Times 2
Times Services
Weekend Review
SPECIAL REPORTS
Investor's Centre
Best of Broadband
IP Infrastructure
Business start-ups
Business insurance

Motoring Travel Jobs Property

September 29, 2003

Saddam refugee killed 'westernised' daughter



Heshu Yones, 16, left, who was murdered by her Kurdish Muslim father, Abdalla, 48, right.
A Kurdish Muslim refugee from Saddam Hussein's Iraq was jailed for life today for cutting his daughter's throat because she had become too westernised.

Abdalla Yones, 48, killed his daughter Heshu, 16, and then tried to take his own life after she had planned to run away from home after starting a relationship with a Lebanese Christian boy.

Investigating detectives said it was one of the most tragic cases they ever had to deal with.

Yones asked to be executed for what he called his "appalling" crime, but Judge Neil Denison told him that he had no such power.

Yones was the first person to plead guilty to murder in a so-called “honour killing” case because he perceived that her relationship with a non-Muslim brought shame on the family.

Police believe there were 12 such killings in Britain last year, including six in London, and have vowed to investigate other members of the community who may have colluded to help cover up the death.

Judge Neil Denison said today at the Old Bailey before jailing Yones: "This is, in any view, a tragic story arising out of irreconcilable cultural differences between traditional Kurdish values and the values of western society".

Heshu's body was found in the bloodstained bathroom of the family home in Acton, West London, on October 12 last year. A kitchen knife was protruding from her neck and was bent out of shape.

The court was told that Yones then tried and failed to take his own life after killing his daughter. He slashed his wrist and jumped from a 25-foot balcony. He was later hospitalised for four months.

Heshu, a schoolgirl at the William Morris academy in Fulham, west London, was a "bubbly, cheeky, fun-loving girl, popular at school and with her friends," according to John McGuinness QC, prosecuting.

"Her father, a strict Muslim, did not approve of her western lifestyle. She wanted to be with her friends and use a mobile phone quite often.

"There was tension at home particularly with her father. He was not happy with her lifestyle and wanted her to live within the Muslim religion and cultural traditions."

Heshu had plans to run away from home just days before her father killed her. Letters produced in court indicated that she had been the victim of domestic violence by her father.

"Hey, for an older man you have a good strong punch and kick. I hope you enjoyed testing your strength on me, it was fun being on the receiving end. Well done," one letter said.

She began a sexual relationship with her boyfriend who she had met at school.

Sexual relationships before marriage were strictly forbidden under Muslim law especially with someone outside the religion, said Mr McGuinness.

The court was told that Yones was given political asylum in Britain when he arrived from Kurdistan ten years ago, but found it difficult to adjust to western life.

He had been the victim of a gas attack and his family and many of their friends had suffered greatly at the hands of Saddam Hussein, the court was told.

Judge Denison told Yones: "It is plain you strongly and genuinely disapproved of the lifestyle in this country of your daughter and the fact that was affecting her schoolwork.

"But having said that, the killing and the manner of it was, as you have recognised, an appalling act. That is why immediately after and then again last month, you tried to take your own life. I accept that is still your intention.

"But there is only one sentence that the law allows me to pass where the crime is murder and that is the sentence I do pass - life."

Detective Inspector Brent Hyatt, from the Metropolitan Police, said: "There was no excuse or even rational reason for this. It is one of the most tragic cases I have ever dealt with".

 
Print this article Send to a friend Back to top of page

  RELATED STORIES
  September 29 2003
Q&A: what are 'honour crimes'?

  ALSO IN THIS SECTION
  Brown warns of Labour 'hard road' ahead

  Saddam refugee killed 'westernised' daughter

  US aircraft strike after 'three soldiers' killed in Iraq

  Hollywood director Elia Kazan dies, aged 94

  Inquiry into causes of Italian blackout

  Boots chemist admits risk from sun creams

BREAKING NEWS
Britain from PA
Stick to core Labour values - Brown
World from PA
Rebels admit Colombian kidnappings
Sport from PA
Madrid real hopeful over Beckham
Business from PA
FTSE stages fightback
trans JOB FINDER trans
trans
trans
Search for appointments in: trans
The Times
The Sunday Times
........................................
trans
trans

  ADVERTISEMENT
TOOLS & SERVICES
Compare the odds
Before you place your bets, find the best value with our new odds comparison service. Plus, Rob Wright's Racing Update, and the latest betting news on the big sports events
.........................................
Box Office
Your ticket to theatre, concerts, and special events nationwide, only from Times Online Box Office
.........................................
Find a holiday
Search our database of flights, city breaks, holidays and late deals, today including 2 nights in Paris from only £105
.........................................
Money Shop
Search and compare loans, credit cards, mortgages and other financial products and buy online
.........................................
The Sunday Times Enterprise Network
Case studies, information, advice, events and exclusive offers for middle market businesses online
.........................................
Crossword Maestro
Get the expert software system for solving crosswords
.........................................


Contact our advertising team for advertising and sponsorship in Times Online, The Times and The Sunday Times.

Copyright 2003 Times Newspapers Ltd.
This service is provided on Times Newspapers' standard Terms and Conditions. Please read our Privacy Policy.
To inquire about a licence to reproduce material from The Times, visit the Syndication website.