Police criticised over handling of Forest Gate mother's murder
PUBLISHED: 18:00 14 February 2017
A pregnant mother strangled to death by her husband may be alive today if the police had not committed a "catalogue of flaws", a report has claimed.
Sabeen Thandi’s three children were deprived of their mother after Mohammed Badiuzzaman, 39, murdered his wife in a fit of rage in July 2013.
Following the 37-year-old’s murder, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched an investigation into previous police contact by the Metropolitan Police (MPS) and Hertfordshire Constabulary.
The IPCC’s report, published last week, concluded there had been a breakdown in police procedures with officers on the case lacking the right training and only “sporadic” checks on the quality of the investigation.
IPCC Commissioner Derrick Campbell said: “The IPCC’s investigation found a catalogue of flaws in how the Metropolitan Police handled their contact with Sabeen Thandi prior to her tragic murder. My thoughts and sympathies at this time are with her family and friends.”
He added: “While we will never know if a different police response would have saved Sabeen’s life, I hope these changes will lessen the chances of this happening in the future.”
As a result of the investigation, a detective inspector from the Met’s sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command was rebuked under the Met’s unsatisfactory performance procedures.
The police complaints organisation also recommended a call operator and detective constable face misconduct proceedings.
Badiuzzaman pleaded guilty to his wife’s murder at the Old Bailey in May 2014 receiving a life sentence with a recommendation he serve a minimum of 17 years.
The former security guard met Sabeen in November 2012, moving into her house in Disraeli Road, Forest Gate, two months later, and forcing her into marriage in April.
He also forced his wife into wearing a hijab and refused to let her out of the house alone.
In June 2013, Sabeen visited a solicitor and three days later Watford County Court issued a restraining order against Badiuzzaman banning him from entering her home.
Police were called in when it became clear Sabeen had been forced to return to the solicitors’ by Badiuzzaman to ask for the order to be withdrawn.
He was arrested on suspicion of threats to kill and unlawful imprisonment, but was later released.
After receiving an abandoned call on July 7, officers went to Sabeen’s home. Badiuzzaman claimed his wife was not at home, but when the officers searched the property they found Sabeen unconscious in a bedroom. She was rushed to hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The Met accepted all four of the IPCC’s recommendations.
Commander Stuart Cundy said: “Sabeen was an extremely vulnerable woman. We have taken steps as a direct result of Sabeen’s death to ensure victims are better supported at these difficult times.”