A pizzeria owner has been convicted of murdering his wife and burying her body in an unmarked grave that police did not discover for more than six months, despite exhaustive searches.
Nezam Salangy, 44, was found guilty at Worcester Crown Court of killing Zobaidah Salangy, 28, his wife of eight years, on March 28, 2020 and then burying her in woodland near Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, under cover of darkness.
Police missed Zobaidah’s body during an initial search of the area in April 2020 because they didn’t dig deep enough, the court heard. As a result of the delay, it was impossible to determine the exact cause of his death, the prosecution said.
Salangy’s younger brothers, Mohammed Yasin Salangi, 34, and Mohammed Ramin Salangy, 31, were sentenced along with him for helping to cover up the crime.
The younger brother traveled 90 miles by taxi from his and Yasin’s home in Cardiff to help bury the victim.
Yasin aided in the crime by covering up knowledge of the murder and the unmarked burial, proven by telephone evidence.
Nezam Salangy later reported his wife’s disappearance to police, telling them she “had gone for a run and never came back,” after leaving him for a “new boyfriend,” prosecutors said.
As he walked off the pier accompanied by security guards, Nezam Salangy looked for several seconds at six West Mercia police detectives who had carried out the investigation and said, “You set me up.”
One of his brothers, as he was being carried down the stairs to the court cells, said, “That’s a wrong decision.”
Shortly after the three men were led downstairs, the courthouse security alarm was activated. None had chosen to testify during the trial.
During the six-week trial, the court heard that after Nezam Salangy was arrested on April 4, 2020, he told officers that he “was sure his wife was still alive and would come home.”
During an initial search of woodland near the Worcestershire village of Lower Bentley, police mistook “a hard layer of soil they reached for a natural base that no one would dig under,” said prosecuting lawyer Simon Denison QC.
They abandoned the search but, “convinced she must be there,” returned to the scene in October 2020 and found Zobaidah’s body bound with curtain wire and wrapped in black garbage bags and a matching duvet cover. of pillows found at the couple’s home in Bromsgrove. .
The prosecution told the jury that on March 27, the day before Zobaidah disappeared, the couple had “bitterly argued” and that part of the fight was videotaped by Nezam Salangy on his phone.
In the recording, both said “their relationship was over.” The prosecuting lawyer, Simon Denison QC, said that “Zobaidah Salangy disappeared from the face of the earth” the following day.
Jurors heard that Zobaidah had been a mathematics teacher in Afghanistan and that her November 2012 marriage to Nezam Salangy, who was then living in the UK, had been an arranged marriage.
She moved to the UK in October 2013 to live with Nezam Salangy and attended English classes at a night school twice a week, intending to resume teaching mathematics or become a midwife.
Nezam Salangy, Yasin Salangi and Ramin Salangy will be sentenced in June.