Killer dad’s life sentence

Pazeer Ahmed found guilty of the murder of his son. Not to published until after sentencing.
Pazeer Ahmed found guilty of the murder of his son. Not to published until after sentencing.

A DAD who brutally murdered his five-year-old son was jailed for life yesterday.

Little Haroon Bhatti was burnt, bitten and beaten by his abusive father Pazeer Ahmed, 34.

Haroon was found dead in his bed at his home on Aberford Road on January 23.

Ahmed denied murder but admitted manslaughter. But he was found unanimously guilty of murder yesterday afternoon in a trial which has been heard largely in private because of “sensitive material”.

The trial heard how Ahmed inflicted a catalogue of injuries on Haroon in the three months before he died.

Judge Mr Justice Coulson, passing sentence said: “Haroon was only five and therefore particularly vulnerable to your repeated attacks on him.

“You were his father so these attacks represent the grossest breach of trust on your part.

“The mental and physical suffering you inflicted on him over these three months and the events leading up to his death in my view were beyond imagination.”

He told the court that Ahmed had inflicted 104 separate injuries on Haroon.

The court also heard about a doctor’s report which said it would have been obvious Haroon had suffered extreme pain and he would have not have been able to sleep easily or even play.

During the trial, prosecutor Julian Goose QC said of Haroon: “He had been burnt with cigarettes and also with a household iron; he had been bitten so as to cause deep bruises, he had been repeatedly punched or hit, causing him to be bruised and cut to various parts of his body, including his genital area.

“He suffered repeated fracturing to his bones. More seriously, in the hours leading up to his death, severe force was used to strike him to the head, most probably by banging his head against the bathroom wall.

“He had also received severe blows to the abdomen, the body, causing massive internal bleed and his death was a result of these injuries to his brain and internal organs.”

Ahmed claimed that he wasn’t in control of his actions and had been suffering from mental problems.

He told the jury: “I used to hit my son sometimes when I washed him and powerful images came into my head. Other times I had nightmares and would lash out. Haroon slept with me.”

He said he would apologise to him afterwards after coming to his senses.

He added: “It would just happen without me realising. I didn’t wish to hurt him or to cause him pain, I loved him.

He said: “I was being violent to Haroon almost every other day for nearly three months.”

In mitigation, the court heard how Ahmed had suffered from post traumatic stress since 2008.

But he denied exaggerating his mental condition after he was arrested. He also denied making references to being a soldier of the Mongolian emperor or saying that he was possessed.

He told the court: “I’m not here to make up stories. There are no excuses for what I’ve done to my son.”

Howard Godfrey QC, mitigating, said he was unable to go into Ahmed’s background fully because of privacy reasons.

But he said in open court Ahmed had provided “substantial public service” in his life and had helped his country in a “distinguished way”.

Mr Justice Coulson accepted Ahmed had been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder for some time but said the jury had rightly rejected his claim of diminished responsibility.

The judge added: “I conclude you knew what you were doing was wrong but for entirely selfish reasons you did nothing about it.

“It was a terrible attack on a defenceless child.”

The judge set a tariff of 19 years before Ahmed can be considered for release.

After the case Det Supt Paul Taylor, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: “From the outset this was a very difficult investigation as it involved the tragic death of a young boy.

“I think everybody who has been touched by this matter is relieved that the court process is over. I hope Haroon’s mother and the wider family find some comfort in this partial closure.”

Edwina Harrison, independent Chair of the Wakefield and District Safeguarding Children Board said: “This is a tragic case involving the death of a little boy who had his whole life in front of him.

“We are conducting a serious case review to ensure that any possible lessons which can be learned from this case are learned and put into practice in the interests of safeguarding children in this district.”