By Louise Boyle
Last updated at 5:11 PM on 31st August 2011
A husband stabbed his wife to death with a camping knife because he thought she had been possessed by the devil.
Kashif Baig claimed he saw beams of light coming from her eyes and thought he would die if they touched him.
The 31-year-old from Crawley, West Sussex, launched a frenzied attack on Shehlah, 27, while they were being driven along the M25 by his father.
Mumtaz Baig tried to stop his son but was threatened with the knife and told to keep driving while his daughter-in-law bled to death from a severed artery.
Baig’s father managed to drive back to Crawley and raise the alarm just after 6pm on November 16 last year.
Police arrested Baig after finding Shehlah’s blood-soaked body slumped in the back of his father’s VW Passat.
Baig attacked the police when they went to arrest him, trying to strangle one officer and head-butting another.
He sobbed and rocked from side to side in the dock as he was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act at Lewes Crown Court yesterday.
The 31-year-old had admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility at an earlier hearing.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Duncan Anderson, who treated Baig at a secure mental unit in Hellingly Hospital, said: ‘He saw that his wife had been taken over by Satan and that there were beams of light coming from her eyes that would kill him if they touched him.
‘He took the knife and attacked what in his mind he believed was the Djinn or Satan.’
Shehlah married her husband at an arranged ceremony in Pakistan in 2007 and moved to the UK a year later.
She had a degree in computer science and worked as a special needs teacher in Crawley, where the couple lived with Baig’s parents.
After he was sentenced, Shehlah’s family described her as ‘the perfect daughter, niece, sister, cousin and aunt’.
In a statement, they said: ‘Beautiful, funny, ambitious, resourceful, generous and loving, she packed so much into her short life.
‘Her loss at the hands of the one she loved most will forever be painfully branded on our souls.
‘We owe it to Shehlah to bear this loss with as much dignity as we can muster. No punishment could befit this crime. Nothing will recompense us for our loss.’
The court heard Baig had been treated for schizophrenia since 2002 but stopped taking his medication five months before the killing.
Prosecuting, Richard Barton said: ‘Suddenly and without warning he turned around and started stabbing her.
‘It was a frenzied attack all over her body and she cried out for help as she sat in the back seat. Mumtaz tried to pull his son away but was unable to do so.’
Mr Barton added: ‘He was labouring under delusional beliefs about devils being in the car with him. He lashed out at them with the knife he was carrying. Tragically, he was, in fact, stabbing his wife.’