Belgian jailed for ‘honour attack’ on Luton man

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A Belgian man who travelled to Luton to carry out an ‘honour attack’ on a man having a relationship with a female member of his family has been jailed for eight years.

Suleman Babar, 28, from Rixensart, near Brussels, was extradited to the UK to face a charge of attempted murder for the stabbing of a 26-year-old man in Brooms Road on December 27, 2010.

The Crown Prosecution Service said he carried out the attack to show “disapproval of the woman’s relationship with the man her family deemed unsuitable”.

Babar was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Monday (December 11) after a judge accepted his guilty plea to a lesser charge of grievous bodily harm.

The court heard how Babar and another man came to Luton from their home in Belgium to confront the victim about the relationship.

The confrontation happened as the victim was outside his home putting screenwash in his car. He suffered serious stab wounds to his stomach and neck.

Both men were caught on camera on their journey back to Belgium the same day, evidence which proved to be pivotal to the extradition order being granted.

A second man charged was released after no evidence was put before the court.

Baljit Ubhey, chief crown prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern area, said: “This was a planned and premeditated attack.

“The victim in this case was attacked because he was having a relationship with the wrong woman in the eyes of members of the woman’s family.

“In that sense it was an ‘honour attack’ to protect the perceived status of the woman’s family.

“Honour crimes affect the health of the whole family and, in fact, the whole community. There is no honour in these types of offences, and no circumstances in which the CPS and the police will not prosecute with the utmost rigour those who commit crimes in the name of so-called honour.

“This case illustrates the determination of the police and Crown Prosecution Service to bring all such perpetrators to justice.

“We hope that the investigation, prosecution, and sentence will deter others who may wish to harm their own family members or others, because of practices that are as tragic as they are outdated.”

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Sgt Steve Facer, who led the investigation, said: “This was a violent attack by someone who had no regard for the law or whether his victim lived or died. After a painstaking investigation over many months, which gathered significant evidence from various sources, we were able to apply for the extradition order so justice could be served.

“This case illustrates the lengths Bedfordshire Police will go to in order to catch offenders and the sentencing sends a clear message out to all those people who believe that violence is acceptable.”