‘Controlling bully’ who stabbed wife 49 times in front of son jailed for murder

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An “arrogant, controlling bully” who strangled and then stabbed his wife 49 times in front of her young son has been jailed for life.

Tanzanian Kema Salum, 39, pleaded guilty to the murder of 35-year-old Leyla Mtumwa at her home and was ordered to spend at least 23 years behind bars.

Salum, who had a history of violence against an ex-wife, was living in Britain on a six-month visa having wed Ms Mtumwa in east Africa.

The night before the murder on March 30, he had become jealous because his wife had gone out with female friends, the Old Bailey heard.

Just before 7am, he fell into a “violent rage” and attempted to strangle her at their home in Haringey, north London.

He broke off and went into the kitchen to get a knife which he used to stab her 49 times in the head, neck, body and arms, the court was told.

Ms Mtumwa’s 12-year-old son had screamed at him to stop before alerting police.

When he was arrested, Salum claimed he had acted in self defence.

Initially, he had denied murder but changed his plea at the 11th hour at the Old Bailey.

The court heard Salum had been “extremely violent” towards his ex-wife in the past and had “lied through his teeth” when he claimed to police he had been defending himself at all times.

Leyla Mtumwa
Leyla Mtumwa was murdered by husband Kema Salum (Family handout/PA)

Judge Richard Marks QC described the defendant as an “arrogant, controlling bully”.

He said: “This was a consistent attack of very considerable force which, although relatively short-lived, must have caused Leyla very substantial suffering before she died.

“Having started off attempting to strangle her you broke off, went to get a knife, and then resumed the attack.”

The victim’s family said “yes” as Salum was sent down.

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