Prosecutor breaks down in court over murder of mum and children in East Ham

Juli Begum and her daughters Thanha and Anika. Picture: Met Police

Juli Begum and her daughters Thanha and Anika. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Met Police

A prosecutor broke down in tears as she described how the murder of a mother and her two children impacted the victims’ distraught family.

Kerry Broome had to ask a police officer to take over reading the victim impact statement of Sheli Begum, sister of 26-year-old murder victim Juli Begum and her two young daughters Anika and Thanha, during a sentencing hearing at the Old Bailey on Friday (November 1).

Juli's estranged husband, Mohammed Abdul Shakur, 46, was convicted of the three murders on Thursday following a 10-day trial.

The former chef spent years on the run after killing his wife and their children, aged five and six, at their home in Nelson Street, East Ham, on or around New Year's Day, 2007.

He fled to Bangladesh within a few days and was eventually arrested in India in May 2013 before being extradited to the UK in April this year.

In her statement, Ms Begum's sister Sheli described how their mother, Karful Nessa, "would cry in the middle of the night" and was so depressed after the tragedy that family members would have to sit with her.

Ms Begum said: "She (Ms Nessa) suffered from depression and it affected her health.

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"She used to cry all the time. She told me all the time she couldn't concentrate and couldn't sleep.

"She said she could hear Thanha and Anika crying out to her."

Ms Begum added: "I see them in my mind. The only thing I can think of is them, not my husband or my own children.

"It has destroyed my life - I cannot watch the television or see a film without something triggering back to what happened.

"It will be with us for the rest of our lives."

A juror, one of six to return to court for the sentencing hearing, wiped tears from her eyes as Det Sgt Amjad Sharif read the victim impact statement.

The couple had an arranged marriage in Bangladesh when Ms Begum was 19 but Shakur had repeatedly been violent towards his wife and did not like their children much because they were not boys, the court heard.

Shakur, who worked at an Indian restaurant in Frimley, Surrey, was remanded back into custody after the sentencing was adjourned to a later date over confusion about how much time he spent in custody in India.