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14 December 2010, 17:50
A taxi driver who murdered his wife just two days after she arrived in the UK to join him from Ethiopia has been jailed for life at Luton Crown Court today (Tuesdsay December 15th).
Masdafe Jama strangled his bride with her head scarf after she refused him sex the prosecution claimed.
He was told by Mr Justice Cooke that he must serve a minimum of 20 years in custody.
Jama, 52, of Tolcarne Avenue, Fishermead, Milton Keynes, pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife 31 year old Naimo on the night of May 21/22 this year.
The jury heard how on Wednesday May 19 this year the defendant's wife, who he had married months before in Ethiopia, flew into Heathrow Airport to join him and start a new life in this country.
Ben Gumpert prosecuting told the court how the defendant took his wife back to the multi occupancy three storey house where he rented a room on the top floor.
Mr Gumpert told the court "It was the bedroom in which Mr Jama lived and the room in which his wife spent a few nights in the UK before she met her death."
He said "The couple had not known each other very well before she arrived."
They had met in Africa and married there, said the prosecutor, who added "She was very much younger than he was."
He then told the jury "The prosecution say the likely motive was concerned with sex."
Mr Gumpert went on "Specifically a refusal by her to have sex when he demanded."
The court heard when the wife's body was subsequently discovered in the room, she was lying on a bed. Her head scarf had been wrapped very tightly around her head and neck.
Following Jama's arrest, Mr Gumpert said "In short he claimed that in the few days that his wife had been in the country she had become friendly with a young Somali man and he suspected she had been having an illicit relationship with him. He said she had rejected his (the husband's) sexual advances and said she no longer wanted to be with him."
Jama claimed to detectives that on his arrival home from work on the night she died, he found her with the other man and there was a fight involving all three of them.
He said he managed to eject the other man from the room but then heard the sound of what appeared to be him and other men running up the stairs to his room.
Fearing for his life, he told police and the jury that he jumped out of a window to escape from them, and that when he left his wife was still alive.
The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict after deliberating for two and a half hours.