A DOMESTIC violence charity is planning to use human rights legislation to sue Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service after a young mother was murdered by her violent husband.
Taxi driver Malik Mannan, 36, stabbed his wife Sabina Akhtar, 26, to death at their home in Longsight.
He was found guilty of murder by a jury who deliberated for 20 minutes – one of the quickest murder trial guilty verdicts in Greater Manchester’s legal history – and jailed for a minimum of 17 years.
It emerged that Sabina told police Mannan had attacked her 25 times previously – and even predicted he would kill her. But prosecutors decided not to press charges, leaving him free to murder.
Today the charity Refuge said it would argue that GMP and the CPS failed to protect Sabina.
Human rights lawyer Helena Kennedy QC said the legal action could become a landmark test case and Sabina’s family told the M.E.N. today that they would back the action ‘100 per cent’.
Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: “Under human rights legislation, the authorities have a duty to protect persons and we believed in this case the police and CPS failed spectacularly and if they had handled it better she might still be alive today. I believe the only way to change policy and practice is to hit them where it hurts – in their wallets.”
Sabina’s family believe she would still be alive today if police and prosecutors had listened to her cries for help.
Sabina reported Mannan’s attacks and death threats months before her murder in September last year.
She told them: “I genuinely believe that if he gets the opportunity, he will not hesitate to kill me. I will support any police prosecution in this case and I am happy to give evidence in court if necessary.”
Mannan was arrested for threatening to kill her but bailed last July with a warning not to contact her. He ignored the order and was arrested trying to get into her house.
The case was reviewed by a CPS lawyer who decided there was no case to answer despite the previous complaints. Bail restrictions on Mannan were dropped and he sent Sabina a text boasting: “I am a free man. Case file closed. Isn’t it great?”
Four days later he stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife.
Sabina’s uncle, Reaz Talukder, said today: “This action should be taken very seriously. We support this action 100 per cent because in our view the CPS and the police have been negligent. Sabina’s parents blame the CPS for their wrong decision not to charge Malik Mannan at an earlier stage.”
The CPS apologised for failing to bring charges earlier and lawyers were retrained on domestic violence policy. Ms Kennedy said class actions had been brought in the USA before.
She said: “I’m not someone who would automatically reach for the law to solve policy problems. The police failure to act in domestic violence is something well known to us and in fact they have improved their game considerably but in some forces it is not good enough.”
In a statement, GMP said it had not received any notification of any legal action in connection with the case but would work with any organisation or individual whose aim it is to protect victims of domestic abuse.
The CPS added: “It would be inappropriate for the CPS to discuss a particular civil action when we have not received details of any such action from anyone. If a civil action is taken against the CPS then we would respond to that action. Sabina came to Britain in January 2005 after her arranged marriage to Mannan in Bangladesh two years earlier.