Mothers united in grief as killers sentenced at Oxford Crown Court

Mehfooz Akhtar and Samantha Shrewsbury

Mehfooz Akhtar and Samantha Shrewsbury

First published in News
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The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter. Call me on (01865) 425373

TWO mothers embraced outside Oxford Crown Court on the day the killers of their children were finally put behind bars.

But both Samantha Shrewsbury and Mehfooz Akhtar have said the pain of their losses are still with them every day of their lives.

Their emotional exchange came minutes after Fiaz Munshi received a 13-year sentence for the manslaughter of two of Mrs Akhtar’s children in an arson attack 17 years ago.

And moments later Ben Blakeley was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 20 years, for the murder of Miss Shrewsbury’s daughter Jayden Parkinson.

In personal statements read out in court, both women described the grief and suffering they still endure.

Mrs Akhtar wrote about the deaths of Anum, eight, and Majid, 15, when a house fire was started at their Magdalen Road home on August 26, 1997.

The Oxford Times:

Fiaz Munshi

She said: “As a mother, my life has been replaced with a pain that I can’t describe, but I feel with every breath I take.”

The Oxford Times:

Ben Blakeley

  • Listen: Miss Sherwsbury and Jayden's grandfather talk about their life sentence

And Miss Shrewsbury said since Jayden was strangled by Blakeley in a jealous rage on December 3 last year, she can barely eat or sleep.

Her statement read: “Every night I go to bed fearing nightmares of Jayden and the cruelty with which she was treated.”

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