- Nalia Mumtaz, 21, was found lying lifeless on a bed at the family home
- Her unborn child also died with her
- Her husband, his parents and his brother-in-law all deny charges of murder and manslaughter
By David Wilkes
PUBLISHED: 16:41 EST, 24 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:54 EST, 24 April 2012
A pregnant wife was smothered to death by her husband, his parents and his brother-in-law who later all claimed she may have been killed by an evil spirit, a court has heard.
Nalia Mumtaz, 21, was pronounced dead at hospital after being rushed there by paramedics who found her lying lifeless and ashen faced on a bed at the family home. Her unborn child died with her.
Her husband Mohammed Mumtaz, 24, his father Zia Ul Haq and mother Salma Aslam, both 51, as well as his brother in law Hammad Hassan, 24, all deny charges of murder and manslaughter.
Death: A pregnant wife was smothered to death by family members who later all claimed she may have been killed by an evil spirit, a court has heard. Pictured left-right are Mohammed Mumtaz, Salma Aslam, Zia Ul-Haq and Hammad Hassan who appeared at court today
Tragic: The family home in Birmingham, pictured, where Nalia Mumtaz was found
At Birmingham Crown Court today, prosecutor Christopher Hotten said the cultural context in which Mrs Mumtaz met her death on July 8, 2009 was of importance, as were the religious beliefs of the defendants, described as a ‘traditional Muslim family with an emphasis on religious observance’.
He asked the jury: ‘Was she or may she have been possessed by an evil spirit which took her life as the defendants were to suggest both at the time and after her death?