Man Convicted Of Murder

31 January 2013, 12:54 | Updated: 31 January 2013, 13:11

A man has been convicted of the murder of a mum from Luton who was stabbed twenty times and then found by two of her children.

Shobhna Jethwa, 45, was stabbed 20 times in her neck and upper body by Sultan Khan after she had demanded a share of his compensation money from a work accident.

Mrs Jewtha was cheating on her husband Rajesh with Khan, 51, who she called "The Old Man", and a younger lover restaurant worker Ashiq Hussain, who she called: "The Short Man."

The mother-of-three was found slumped on the sofa of the family home in Butely Road, Luton by her 12-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter when they came home from school on September 9th 2011. The children tried to revive her, but she had been murdered some time earlier.

Sultan Khan, who is now wheelchair-bound, of Durbar Road, Luton pleaded not guilty to murder.

Judge Andrew Bright QC adjourned sentence for a report on Khan's physical condition, which has deteriorated since the killing. He said: "I want some insight into his physical condition, particularly the issue of his life expectancy."

The judge said the sentence will be life imprisonment, but the issue will be the minimum term Khan should serve before he can be considered for parole.

Prosecutor Sam Mainds had told the court that when the 12 year old son was interviewed by the police they were surprised when he said he knew where his mother's boyfriends lived and took them to their addresses in Dunstable Road and Leagrave Road in Luton.

Mr Mainds said Mrs Jewtha had a "high libido" and had been in an intense relationship with Khan for 2 years,  but they were arguing as she was demanding money from the compensation he was to receive from an accident in May 2011 when he was knocked over by a lorry on a building site in Oxfordshire.

After the killing, two knives were recovered from a kitchen drawer in the dead woman's house. Blood and tissue from her body was found on one of them. On the other knife was the defendant's DNA. A key-ring recovered from the dead woman's handbag had the words: "I love you S K" inscribed on it. The keys were to Sultan Khan's home.

At the time Khan was walking with the aid of crutches. He was captured on CCTV catching a bus at five to ten that morning from near Beech Hill Post Office. At 10.13 he got off, a short distance from Shobna Jethwa's home.

A neighbour cleaning the blinds in his bathroom saw Khan use his crutches to open the gate to the back garden of the Jethwa's home that lunchtime.

He was next seen boarding a bus just before 2am. Then at 4.42 he was seen having changed his identity by switching from Western Clothing to an Asian garment.  He had discarded the crutches and was walking with a Zimmer frame.

In the days before the killing Mr Mainds said there lengthy phone calls, up to two hours long.

Khan had bought her a top up for her mobile phone on his way to the house, indicating that he had not gone there to kill her, but it is thought a row broke out while she was ironing.

At the time of the killing the younger boyfriend Ashiq Hussain, who she had been seeing for 3 and a half years, was at his Mosque in Luton. The father of three, whose wife is in Pakistan, told the jury: "We were best friends and I miss her."

Her husband was working as a train manager on a Virgin train between Manchester and London. He told the jury: "Since she met this fellow, life has changed. It was a happy marriage for the first 25 years."

Khan did not give evidence. When questioned by police, Mr Khan said: "I don't know what happened. I didn't do it."