Jeni Harvey, Yorkshire Post, November 12, 2008
A TEENAGER was brutally murdered by her boyfriend’s Muslim flatmate because he did not approve of him going out with a Catholic.
Lidia Motylska, 19, was strangled in an alleyway in Leeds by Iraqi immigrant Abobakir Jabari who objected to his Kurdish flatmate’s relationship with her.
Yesterday Jabari, 39, who was given British citizenship in 2005, pleaded guilty at Sheffield Crown Court to murdering the petite Polish teenager.
The court heard he garrotted her from behind, using the cord from his tracksuit bottoms, before inflicting “gratuitous” wounds on her lifeless body. He stabbed her repeatedly in the chest and stomach and slit her throat.
Sentencing Jabari to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 19-and-a-half years, Mr Justice McKinnon said the murder involved an exceptional degree of violence.
“There is a suspicion that you lured this young woman to her death and marked your disapproval of her and her relationship by gratuitous violence upon her,” he said.
The court heard that Jabari grew up in Iraq and was conscripted to the Iraqi army but then deserted. He became involved with the Communist party and later helped opponents of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime flee to Syria.
He came to England in 1999 with his then wife, but they separated in 2003 and he went on to gain British citizenship.
In July 2004 he began working at Symphony Kitchens in Gelderd Lane, Leeds.
Through his work, he met both Miss Motylska and Ajeen Jabaridia, a fellow Kurdish Iraqi who moved in with him at a flat in Oatland Heights in the Little London area of the city.
But he was to become increasingly hostile when the pair became romantically involved.
Prosecuting, Simon Myerson QC said: “He disliked the fact that his Kurdish friend was going out with a Polish Catholic.
“He did not like Lidia to sleep at their flat. He disapproved of Lidia’s behaviour in public and thought it seemed sexually provocative.”
He went on: “He told her that Ajeen should not be seeing her because she was a Polish and Catholic girl.”
Miss Motylska, who lived with her mother Renata in Beeston, Leeds, thought she might be pregnant with Mr Jabaridia’s child, the court heard, though this turned out not to be the case.
On the evening of the murder in October last year, she had arranged to meet Jabari and got off a bus near his home at 6.45pm.
Ten minutes later, two passers-by called 999, reporting that they had seen a woman on the ground in an alleyway in Lincoln Green, with a man sitting over her “grunting” and holding her around the neck.
When police arrived at 7pm, the teenager was dead, with deep stab wounds and her throat slit “from ear to ear”.
The judge said one explanation for the slash injuries to her abdomen could have been an “expression of disapproval at her pregnancy and her relationship”.
Immediately after the attack, Jabari set about creating an alibi by inviting friends to his flat to watch Arsenal play Slavia Prague in a Champions League football match.
A keen Arsenal fan, Mr Jabaridia had tried to telephone his girlfriend each time the team scored, but got no reply.
He and Miss Motylska’s mother reported the teenager missing the next day.
After the sentencing, Det Supt Bill Shackleton from West Yorkshire Police said: “This was a brutal and calculated murder.”
The victim’s family were too upset to speak.