An evil woman has been jailed for at least 22 years for murdering her own sister after having an affair with her husband.
Sabah Khan, 27, butchered her 34-year-old sister Saima Khan with a kitchen knife at their home in Luton in May 2016 because she wanted her brother-in-law Hafeez Rehmen for herself.
She lured her older sister home under the ruse her children were crying, before slashing her throat with such ferocity she almost decapitated her.
In a ‘scene of carnage’ which lasted some eight minutes, Sabah chopped off her sister’s hand and pulled off her clothing then continued stabbing her as she lay dead, while her children were upstairs sleeping.
The court heard Sabah Khan had been in a relationship with her sister’s taxi driver husband for four years and they had been having sex in his taxi and their home when his wife had gone to work.
He was 21 when he met Sabah, and she was just ten.
Saima’s four young children were sleeping upstairs as she was murdered by her younger sister, who had bought a knife from a Tesco store two days earlier.
She waited until their family were out of the house attending a funeral at a local mosque before texting her sister to say one of her children was crying and she should come home quickly.
Saima suffered 68 knife wounds in the frenzied attack, with severed arteries and a jugular vein and deep wounds to her arms, skull and face.
The court heard some of the children were awake during the incident.
‘The seven-year-old shouted down to her aunt: “Are you killing a mouse?”‘
Other members of the family found the mother-of-four lying in a pool of blood when they returned late at night.
Sabah attempted to stage a burglary at the scene, smashing a window and interfering with jewellery before calling police claiming there had been a burglary and her sister had been murdered by an intruder when she was in the shower.
Detectives initially investigated her claims before arresting her eight days later when they found the knife in a bin bag in her bedroom.
On the night of the murder, Sabah remained at home to look after her sister’s children – a seven-year-old daughter, two sons aged four and two and a baby girl, who had just had her first birthday.
Prosecutor Jane Bickerstaff QC said Saima left the house around 10.15pm to attend the home of an elderly woman in her role as a carer that night.
Half an hour later Sabah texted her sister to say one of the children was crying and she should come home quickly.
Miss Bickerstaff said that at 11.03pm, Saima Khan replied ‘On my way.’
The court was told a CCTV system on a neighbouring property captured the moment Saima arrived outside her home and showed her entering the property at 11.07pm.
Miss Bickerstaff said: ‘The lights were seen going on at the house.
‘On entering the house, Saima turned on the downstairs hallway lights and 45 seconds later, the lights went off, so the downstairs was in darkness.’
The prosecutor said that had been the moment when Sabah Khan struck as she waited in the darkness.
Miss Bickerstaff said: ‘She lay in wait for her sister and 45 seconds after Saima got into the house, she was murdered in the hallway.
‘There is no evidence that she ever managed to leave that area by the front door. It was a vicious and sustained attack.’
Saima had moved to England from Holland and was described by neighbours as a ‘quiet but friendly lady’.
Ms Bickerstaff told how WhatsApp messages revealed Khan’s bitterness as Mr Rehman’s interest in her waned.
She referred to her sister as ‘that b***h’, and told Mr Rehman: ‘If I could I would take my heart out and show you what you are for me.
‘Nothing in the world can change my feelings for you. Not even you … Day by day my love for you gets stronger.’
Ms Bickerstaff said: ‘From February, all was not well with Hefeez Rehman and his affection appears to have been transferred back to his wife.’
Around this time Khan searched the internet for ‘poisonous snakes’ ‘how to hire a killer’ and ’16 steps to kill someone and not get caught’.
She was also in frequent communication with a ‘fixer’ in Pakistan and handed him over £5,000 to have her sister ‘finished off’ and ‘done in’.
She told the fixer: ‘Sorry to bother you again and again. My friend is really upset now Hefeez does not even look at her ….he says he realises his mistake … You finish off Saima as quick as possible so Sabah can get her Hefeez back.’
The prosecutor said there was an added time pressure as her sister and her family were due to move out later that month.
Jo Sidhu, defending, said Sabah was a ‘lonely individual, had traits of mental health issues and had in the past cut and strangled herself.
He said: ‘This defendant for the rest of her natural life will live with what she has done. The remorse is something that will infect her for the rest of her days.’
Sabah showed no emotion as she was jailed for life with a minimum of 22 years for the ‘astonishingly brutal’ murder of her sister.
Judge Christopher Moss told her: ‘You enticed her to come home from work so the killing could be carried out.
‘You had decided that afternoon that murder weapon should be used which had been purchased by you days earlier. You have for some time planned your sister’s death.
‘The killing was astonishingly brutal and the knife attack continued on after the deceased must have lost her life.
‘You killed your sister in her own home with her children upstairs.
‘Further, you suggested falsely that you sister had been engaged in an illicit affair with another man.’
Psychiatric reports revealed that Sabah was emotionally unstable and has a form of a depressive disorder.
Judge Moss said she now accepts her guilt ‘unreservedly’.