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Twin girls tell of horror of saying farewell to their burned mother

The twin daughters of a woman who was burnt to death by her abusive ex-husband have spoken for the first time about the horror of saying goodbye to their mother.

Ahdieh Khayatzadeh, 46, the owner of a Stirling beauty salon was doused in petrol and set alight by her 61-year-old former husband Ahmad Yazdanparast, causing 95 per cent burns. Last week he was sentenced to life imprisonment for her murder.

Khayatzadeh's 20-year-old daughters Gloria and Glara revealed yesterday that they were warned not to open their eyes when they went to say their farewells to her in Forth Valley Royal Hospital where she was being treated.

"The nurse advised us not to go in," Glara said. "She said it was something we really shouldn't see.

"But we really wanted to say a last goodbye, so they advised us to keep our eyes closed. That's what we did. We went in separately with our eyes shut. It was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do."

Yazdanparast, 61, had brought his wife to Scotland from Iran when she was in her early twenties. He had been arrested for trying to attack his wife before. In court he claimed that in his home country "the man is superior to the woman and has authority over her".

Gloria said what their father had done to their mother was a nightmare. "How could he have done this to her? It's just not human."

The twins revealed that their father had been abusive to their mother for years. "She felt trapped, lonely and far from home," said Glara. "But she was so strong and determined to make things work. When we were born, she went to college and did a hairdressing and beauty course and got diplomas.

"Later, she did a teaching degree - all the while looking after two small children and learning English. She wanted to make her life successful and to have a happy family. The problem was dad."

The twins, who are in their final year at university, have put their education on hold.

"She would have hated for this to destroy us, to ruin all the hopes and dreams she had for us," Glara said. "And we're determined it's not going to. Dad might think he has taken mum away from us but he can't touch the memories we have."

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