Posted on August 19, 2013

Bride Found Hanged in Gambia after African Husband Discovers He Is Infertile

Josie Ensor, Telegraph (London), August 13, 2013

A bride whose new husband discovered he was infertile was found hanged at their home after an argument.

Simone Jabakhanji, 27, had been rowing with Gambian Mohammed, 29, after he was given the news by doctors, an inquest into her death was told.

Mrs Jabakhanji, from Leyland in Lancashire, had moved to Gambia to be with Mohammed, and the two had married at a beach ceremony attended by her family.

Mohammed and Simone Jabakhanji

Mohammed and Simone Jabakhanji

A year later, however, she was found hanged at their home in the West African country’s capital city of Banjul, on August 13, 2011.

In the days leading up to her death she told her mother back in England that she was frightened of him and needed to give him “quiet space” when he got angry.

Initially Mr Jabakhanji, who reported the death, was arrested for her murder by Gambian police, but he was then released.

The hearing was told that Mrs Jabakhanji and her family had been travelling to Gambia for many years and she had met her future husband on one of those trips.

She moved to Gambia from Leyland in 2009 and married Mohammed, the following year on Valentine’s Day.

Giving evidence at the inquest, Mrs Jabakhanji’s mother Janice Lally said she spoke to her daughter on the day of her death about her husband, who was known as Carlos.

Her daughter had told her that she had decided to put make-up on and a nice outfit to wait for her husband to return that evening.

Mrs Lally said: “She phoned quite often. She had phoned on the Friday evening because she and Carlos had had an argument, she always wanted to speak with me or her friend when they had an argument.”

Mrs Lally said the couple would fight regularly – about once a month.

Mrs Lally said her daughter was used to Mr Jabakhanji going into his own quiet space for a few days then would pretend that nothing had happened.

At an inquest in Preston, coroner Simon Jones said that there had been no co-operation from the Gambian authorities about their investigation, leaving the family hunting for answers on what happened to her.

He said there had been repeated requests through Interpol, the Foreign Office and the Gambian High Commissioner, but only a limited amount of detail about the death had been forthcoming.

No autopsy had been carried out in Gambia and the body had been embalmed before repatriation to England.

Mr Jones delivered an open verdict, saying: “When a death like this happens in this country we get police statements, photographs of the scene. To record a verdict of suicide in the UK I have to be satisfied to a very high standard of proof that she did what she did intending to end her own life.

“But we can’t be certain what she did was done with the intention of ending her life. That would be at odds with the conversations she had with family and friends. Similarly there is no evidence to suggest anyone else was involved.”