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Man who burned ex-wife to death with petrol faces life

A HUSBAND who burned his former wife to death in her hair salon after a bitter divorce is to be jailed for life.

VICTIM: Ahdieh Yazdanparast died in a horrific petrol-fire attack.
VICTIM: Ahdieh Yazdanparast died in a horrific petrol-fire attack.

Ahmad Yazdanparast, 61, was yesterday found guilty of the murder of Ahdieh Yazdanparast.

He waited until the last customer left her basement shop in Stirling before leaving his takeaway restaurant above it and attacking the mother of three.

He doused the 46-year-old with petrol and set her on fire before escaping from the salon and collapsing in the street with burns sustained when the petrol vapour caught fire.

Nearby he had scattered a dozen cards before going into the salon.

His wife, who suffered 95 per cent burns, was conscious when she was brought out of the salon by firefighters, and told emergency service personnel on her way to hospital what lay behind the attack on October 12 last year at her Venus Hair and Beauty salon.

She told paramedic Steven Morgan that her ex-husband had carried out the attack. Mr Morgan told Yazdanparast's trial at the High Court in Edinburgh: "I asked her why and she said because she had divorced him."

She died later that day in Forth Valley Royal Hospital from complications from extensive burns.

After jurors yesterday dismissed Yazdanparast's claim that he acted in self-defence they found him guilty of the murder on a majority verdict. Trial judge Lady Wise said he been convicted of a "horrific attack" and only one sentence could be imposed for murder - life imprisonment.

But Lady Wise said she was required to set a minimum term that he must serve before becoming eligible to seek parole and adjourned sentence on him until later this month for a background report. She remanded him in custody. Yazdanparast responded: "Thank you very much."

The judge told jurors that it had been "a very serious and distressing case".

The court heard detectives collected up the cards thrown down by Yazdanparast before the fire attack and found hand-written messages in English and Farsi such as "Game is over" and "Enough is enough."

In one he claimed: "If she was in Iran she was not doing this to me and my children."

In another he referred to her praying, fasting and reading the Koran but added that she was "doing adultery".

Another said: "She married me for visa and my money."

Yazdanparast, known as Chico, had denied in evidence assaulting his ex-wife, despite having a previous conviction for attacking her.

The court heard she had previously contacted police over threats he made to kill her and pour acid on her face.

Advocate depute Tim Niven-Smith told jurors: "He wasn't being listened to, he wasn't being obeyed. He lost control of his wife and he murdered her."

The couple, both originally from Iran, separated in 2010 and divorced last year.

Yazdanparast, who told his trial he was a "British Muslim", said that in Iran the man was superior to the woman and had authority over her, but his wife was superior to him.

He said she had becoming westernised, and that he had not wanted a divorce.

Detective Inspector Bryan Burns, who was the senior investigating officer in the case, said: "The horrific nature and consequences of this crime has had an immeasurable impact on Ahdieh's family and I would like to praise their strength, courage and support during the investigation.

"I would also like to thank those members of the community in Stirling who helped at the scene of this tragic incident and those who came forward after our appeal for witnesses.

"Our thoughts remain with Ahdieh's family."

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