Posted on July 29, 2004

Father Gets Life For Murdering Baby Son

Guardian (UK), Jul. 28

A father was today jailed for life for slashing the throat of his 10-month old son in a Carlisle bakery.

Shahajan Kabir was convicted of murdering Hassan Martin at Greggs bakery in the Cumbrian town on October 21 last year.

The jury at Carlisle crown court also found the 40-year-old guilty of unlawfully wounding Hassan’s mother, Lorna Martin, 21, and his 40-year-old grandmother, Pauline Martin, in the same incident.

Kabir, an asylum seeker who had been facing deportation to Balngladesh, was told he would serve a minimum of 13 years in prison. He was also sentenced to two years for the unlawful wounding of the two women, which he will serve concurrently.

Mr Justice Leveson told Kabir that he faced deportation from the UK on his release. As the verdicts were read out, Kabir stood silently in the dock, looking at the ground. Hassan’s mother, who sat in court throughout the trial with her family and friends, wept.

“You have been convicted of the murder of Hassan Martin, your son,” Mr Justice Leveson told Kabir. “Taking a ferocious knife from the restaurant at which you worked, I am sure that you deliberately went in search of your son.

“On the basis that if you couldn’t see Hassan, and that on any moment you were likely to be deported from this country, you decided no-one should have the pleasure of his company and you would bring his life to an end.” He added that there had been “a real degree of planning” in the murder.

Kabir killed his son a month after being told he would be deported back to Bangladesh. He had been denied political asylum on September 20 2003, and was due to be deported from the UK, where he had lived as an illegal immigrant since 1996.

However, he was still in the country on October 21 last year, and went into the Carlisle bakery, where Hassan’s mother was ordering a cake for the child’s first birthday.

He attacked Hassan, who was still strapped in his pushchair, slitting his throat with a 12in knife.

At the time of the attack, Kabir was separated from Miss Martin, and had limited contact with his son.

Kabir, whose parents, five sisters and brother still live in Bangladesh, came to Britain via Kuwait in 1996. He had a six-month visa but, when it expired, he went to ground in Carlisle, where he worked as a tandoori chef at takeaway restaurants.

He remained undetected by the immigration authorities until 1999, when he handed himself in at Workington police station, in Cumbria, seeking political asylum.

However, he disappeared again and, when he met Miss Martin in 1999, he asked whether she would marry him and have his children. She turned him down, but they became a couple in 2001 and, in August that year, Kabir moved in with Miss Martin and her mother at their Carlisle home.

He was arrested by chance on May 1 2002 when immigration service officials raided the Indian Spice takeaway where he worked.

They were looking for someone else, but arrested Kabir and held him at the immigration removal centre at Gosport, Hampshire.

Kabir again applied for political asylum, and his application was supported by Miss Martin, who was now pregnant with Hassan. He was bailed on October 8 2002, and returned to Carlisle while his application for political asylum was considered.

Hassan was born on December 6 2002, but Kabir split up with Miss Martin and, on April 14 last year, he was told to leave the Martin household. After that he had limited contact with Hassan.

On September 20, his final appeal to stay in the UK was dismissed, and he faced deportation back to Bangladesh.

With his deportation date looming, Kabir tracked down Miss Martin and Hassan in Carlisle town centre on October 14, and attempted to kidnap his son.