CRIME
07/10/2012 10:39 am ET

Naila Mumtaz, Pregnant Woman, Killed By Family Who Thought She was Possessed

A woman's husband and his family were convicted of killing her in 2009 because they thought she was possessed.

The verdict was reached this month.

Mohammed Mumtaz, 25, of Birmingham, England was convinced his pregnant wife, Naila Mumtaz, 21, was possessed by an evil spirit, according to the BBC. He claimed during the trial that the spirit made her strangle herself to death.

Prosecutor Christopher Hotten quoted details of Mumtaz's account to police after his wife's death, according to the BBC.

"He said she started to grab her own face and was screaming in anger. It was like she couldn't remember who we were. She suffocated herself by putting her hand in her mouth and she tried to strangle herself."

But the jury did not believe Mumtaz killed herself. The Birmingham Post reports that the panel found all four defendants -- Mohammed, his parents, and his brother -- guilty.

"This was a tragic and deeply upsetting case, where a young woman had her life so horrifically ended by those she loved and trusted," said Detective Inspector Simon Astle, according to the Post. "It is unthinkable that those she was closest to would take her life in the belief that she had been possessed by evil spirits."

Wendy Bounds, a lawyer from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said the verdict should provide some hope.

"This case demonstrates that it is possible to achieve justice for girls in Naila’s situation who are far away from their family, unable to speak English and with no one to turn to for help," she said, according to the Daily Mail. "Our thoughts are with Naila’s family at this time and we hope that today’s conviction brings some comfort to them."

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