A CHEATING wife and her older lover flew across the world to murder her husband in a Pakistan hotel room, a court heard this week.
Shop manageress and law student Yasira Pervez, 24, of Pendle Street, Accrington, wanted out of her arranged marriage to her cousin Khurrum Mukhtar after starting an affair with her boss Ian Priddle, 46.
At Christmas 2006 they flew to Pakistan where Pervez lured Mr Mukhtar to a hotel room to "get rid of him", it was alleged by the prosecution at Manchester Crown Court.
During the rendezvous Mr Mukhtar, 21, was stabbed with a knife and left to die with wounds to his chest and abdomen.
Pervez and Priddle were arrested when they arrived back at Manchester Airport, 3,900 miles from the scene of the killing, on New Year’s Eve.
The court was told British-born Pervez now blames Priddle, of Jubilee Road, Haslingden, for the killing while he denies he was present in the room where the stabbing took place.
"In affairs of the heart, common sense and logic are often the first casualty," Mr Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, told the jury.
"Yasira Pervez wanted rid of Khurrum Mukhtar and in Ian Priddle she found a willing partner – a man ready and able to do her bidding."
The court heard how Pervez and Khurrum were married in April or May 2004 in a village on the outskirts of Rawalpindi and at first seemed happy.
Pervez returned to the family home in the United Kingdom while Khurrum remained in Pakistan with his mother with the intention of applying for a visa to join her.
Pervez had met Priddle when they worked together at a print finishing shop and he eventually took her on as manageress of a Happy Shopper general store in Blackburn when he took over the lease.
They began having an affair and in December 2006 they decided to visit Pakistan.
Mr Wright said: "It is the prosecution’s case that it was not a holiday they had in mind but rather the murder of Khurrum Mukhtar."
The court heard the couple flew out on Christmas Eve and booked themselves into the Four Seasons Hotel in Islamabad. They spent the following week visiting parks and gardens.
Towards the end of her stay, Pervez spoke to her husband on the phone and the pair agreed to meet in secret at the Comfort Inn in Rawalpindi for what Khurrum thought would be a romantic few hours.
The prosecution alleges that Khurrum arrived at the hotel, where a waiter, Arshad Mahmood, saw him speaking with an Asian female and a white male, wearing dark glasses and baseball caps, before they made their way to room 109.
Mr Mahmood left the hotel briefly and when he returned he saw the pair leave the hotel, appearing "stressed and nervous".
When the waiter went to investigate the hotel room, he found Khurrum Mukhtar lying half on the bed and half on the floor covered in blood.
The police were called, and Khurrum was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police searched the hotel room and found a bloodstained knife with a six or seven inch blade.
Mr Wright added: "Irres-pective of who actually stabbed him, they killed him together. We say the solution to their problem was the permanent removal of Mr Mukhtar from the equation.
"They fled the room together and left him to die. They returned to their hotel in Islamabad together.
"They didn’t raise any alarm, they didn’t call an ambulance. All they sought to do in the immediate aftermath was to provide an alibi for themselves."
The jury was shown photos of the knife, which was found on a shelf above a dressing table in the hotel room.
Pervez and Priddle deny murder.
The trial continues.