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Salon fire killer told to pay his children £450,000

THE children of a woman who was burned to death by her ex-husband have won a £450,000 court action against their murdering father.

Ahmed Yazdanparast, 61, was jailed for life last month and ordered to serve at least 19 years in prison after he was found guilty of the murder of his former wife Ahdieh.

He doused the 46-year-old in petrol and set fire to her at her hairdressing salon. The victim, who suffered 95 per cent thermal burns, was brought out alive and conscious by firefighters from the premises in Stirling, but died later that day in hospital.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, sentencing judge, Lady Wise, told Yazdanparast: "Your wife of more than 20 years was a devoted mother to the three children you had together.

"Your actions have deprived those children of the company of their mother and your twin daughters now have the responsibility of looking after your teenage son.

"Mrs Yazdanparast had ended your marriage and you retaliated by embarking on a calculated plan to kill her in the most horrific attack imaginable."

Yazdanparast, who described himself as a British Muslim, had denied murdering his wife and told jurors during his trial: "She was changing, becoming westernised."

Mrs Yazdanparast's children raised an action at the Court of Session, Edinburgh, suing the killer for damages, claiming that as a result of his actions they had suffered loss, injury and damage.

The daughters, Gloria and Glara, 21, each sought £150,000 in their own right, with Gloria seeking the same sum on behalf of her 13-year-old brother as his guardian.

All three said they had suffered distress and anxiety in contemplation of their mother's suffering.

The children said they had suffered grief and sorrow and had been deprived of the society of their mother following the attack on her at the Venus Hair and Beauty Salon, in Maxwell Place, Stirling, last October 12.

It was said that Yazdanparast, formerly of Maxwell Place, had behaved aggressively and inappropriately during the couple's marriage and threatened to kill his former wife.

The couple were married in Iran but ceased to cohabit in 2010.Yazdanparast had contested the divorce action but was said to have shown "an utter disregard for due and legal process".

A judge granted decree in favour of the children in the damages action following a brief hearing in the absence of Yazdanparast. He was not legally represented at the hearing.

Counsel for the children, Kay Springham, told Lord Stewart it was a "rather unusual action where the pursuers are suing their father who murdered his ex-wife, their mother". Ms Springham said the children had taken action against their father, who had a number of assets, including the former family home, another property in Stirling and a personal pension plan.

She said notice of the action in the form of a summons was served on Yazdanparast while he was detained in the psychiatric State Hospital at Carstairs last year, where he was undergoing assessment.

He later went into the mainstream prison system.

She said he had never instructed legal representation to act for him in the civil proceedings brought by the children.

She said that provided service had been made and the court had jurisdiction then in the circumstances the court should grant decree in absence.

The counsel said the sum of £150,000 sought for each of the children was "not excessive".

Lord Stewart said that on the face of the summons he understood there had been a loss of society, grief and sorrow and loss of support.

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