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19 years for salon fire wife killer

A MAN who burned his ex-wife to death after dousing her with petrol and setting her alight has been jailed for life for her murder.

ahdieh KHAYATZADEH: Suffered burns to 95 per cent of her body.
ahdieh KHAYATZADEH: Suffered burns to 95 per cent of her body.

Ahmad Yazdanparast, 61, was ordered by judge Lady Wise to spend at least 19 years behind bars before being eligible for parole.

His former wife Ahdieh ­Khayatzadeh suffered burns to 95 per cent of her body at her hair salon in Stirling in October last year. Ms Khayatzadeh, 46, told a paramedic before she died her ex-husband had carried out the attack because she had divorced him.

Yesterday Lady Wise described the killing as "premeditated and callous".

She described Ms Khayatzadeh as a lovely woman and a good mother and told Yazdanparast: "Your actions have deprived her children of her company. You planned to murder her in the most horrific attack imaginable.

"Your ex-wife had full thickness burns to 95 per cent of her body. There was no possibility of her surviving. You have shown no remorse for the premeditated and callous attack on her.

"It appears your actions were motivated by anger at your wife for having the temerity to divorce you. You decided she could not be free of you and live."

As Yazdanparast was led away to the cells he shouted: "I am not a killer, Lady Wise."

Solicitor advocate Vincent Belmonte, defending, said: "Mr Yazdanparast maintains his innocence. He does not express remorse for a crime which he says he did not commit.

"He was very much in love with his wife and devastated by the dissolution of his marriage."

During his trial Yazdanparast claimed he had acted in self-defence after being assaulted.

But the court heard that he scattered cards - bearing hand-written messages in English and Farsi reading "enough is enough" and "game is over" and accusing his ex-wife of committing adultery - around the Venus Hair and Beauty Salon in Stirling. He then poured petrol over Ms Khayatzadeh's head and body and set fire to her. In the intense blaze he also suffered burns.

She died at Forth Valley Royal Hospital the same day, after telling paramedic Steven Morgan that Yazdanparast had done it because she divorced him.

Kebab shop owner Yazdanparast had a previous conviction for attacking his wife, and she had previously contacted police over threats he made to kill her and pour acid over her face.

The couple, who are originally from Iran, separated in 2010 before divorcing last year.

Yazdanparast told the court that his wife was becoming "westernised", adding: "In this country divorce is quicker than getting a driving licence. That's not right."

During the divorce proceedings he was found in contempt of court after screaming and wailing, conduct a judge at Stirling Sheriff Court described as "bizarre".

The couple had been caught up in a further legal fight over a flat that was meant to be sold as part of the divorce, and Yazdanparast was due back in court the week after the murder.

Detectives found traces of petrol on his victim's clothing and on plastic in the basement salon hours after Yazdanparast had been seen buying fuel at a petrol station.

Firefighters who brought Ms Khayatzadeh out of the building alive said she was in "horrendous" condition, so badly burned that they couldn't tell if she was male or female, and "very much conscious".

One of the couple's twin daughters Glara, 21, told her father's trial there was no adultery. She said: "It's an excuse."

Following her death, Ms Khayatzadeh's family said a "huge void" had been left in their lives. She said she was a "wonderful woman who was devoted to her family".

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