The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Father killer in clash of cultures

London, Sept. 30: A Kurdish Muslim murdered his 16-year-old daughter because he disapproved of her western way of life and Christian boyfriend, the Old Bailey court heard yesterday.

Abdalla Yones, 48, cut his daughter Heshu’s throat and left her to bleed to death. He had subjected her to months of beatings before killing her in a frenzied knife attack.

Yones, who until last week denied murdering Heshu, asked the court to impose the death sentence but was told that was not possible under English law. He was jailed for life.

Sentencing him, Judge Neil Denison, said the killing was “a tragic story arising out of irreconcilable cultural differences between traditional Kurdish values and those of western society.”

Scotland Yard described Heshu’s death as an “honour killing” brought about by a “clash of cultures” between Yones — a refugee from Iraqi Kurdistan, where such murders are common — and his westernised daughter. Heshu used a mobile phone, preferred to spend time out with her friends rather than at home and wore make-up — always applying it at college or a friend’s house.

She began a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old boy, a fellow pupil at William Morris Academy, Fulham, west London, who was from a Lebanese Christian background. Her schoolwork was suffering and she had a poor attendance record.

Three days before the murder, in October last year, her father received an anonymous letter written in Kurdish saying Heshu was behaving like a prostitute. The letter was sent to the south London offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan where Yones was a volunteer worker. Police believe that Yones had been physically abusing Heshu for months beforehand. She had not reported the attacks but referred to them in a two-page “runaway” letter found after her death.

She wrote: “Bye Dad, sorry I was so much trouble. Me and you will probably never understand each other. But I’m sorry I wasn’t what you wanted but there’s some things you can’t change. Hay [sic] for an older man you have a good strong punch & kick. I hope you enjoyed testing your strength on me, it was fun being on the receiving end. WELL DONE.”

Later in the letter, which detectives think was written weeks before her death, Heshu added: “One day when I have a proper job every penny I owe you will be repaid in full ... I will find a way to independently look after myself. I will go to social security to get myself a flat or hostel. I will be OK. Don’t look for me because I don’t know where I’m going yet. I just want to be alone.”

Prosecutor John McGuinness said Heshu confided in friends her fear that her father would discover she had a boyfriend. On the night of the murder, Heshu’s mother had gone out with her 12-year-old brother and left her alone with her father. Yones attacked her with a kitchen knife, stabbing her 11 times and slitting her throat. He then tried to cut his own throat and threw himself from the third floor balcony of the family's flat in Acton, west London.

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