Muslim model hanged herself fearing she would be forced into an arranged marriage by her parents – who she discovered were actually her aunt and uncle
A Muslim model who hanged herself feared she would be forced into an arranged marriage by her parents – whom she later learned were actually her aunt and uncle, an inquest was told.
Nadia Menaz, 24, of Oldham, Greater Manchester, feared Sabir Hussain and Ruksana Kousar would make her marry a man three years after wedding her husband Umar Rassol.
She took out a forced marriage protection order at a family court in Manchester last December which shielded her against Mr Hussain, 60, Miss Kousar, 55, and her immediate family.
But in May Miss Menaz was found hanged in her bedroom at home – and today, a coroner recorded a verdict of ‘taking her own life while suffering from a depressive illness’.
The inquest in Heywood was told Miss Menaz struggled to deal with ‘traumatic experiences in her childhood’ including being sexually abused, which she dealt with by self harming.
She had a ‘very strained’ relationship with her family, and after leaving home at 16, she met 24-year-old Mr Rassol in 2010 before marrying him in an Islamic ceremony a year later.
The couple had a daughter, who is now three, but the marriage was never confirmed under English law – and her Muslim family did not approve of her relationship, the inquest heard.
Miss Menaz feared they would force her into an arranged marriage, so in December last year took out a forced marriage protection order at the Family Court in Manchester.
The legislation protects women if they are being threatened with a forced marriage or are already within a forced marriage.
But the inquest was told how in subsequent months she was allegedly assaulted by her brother and feared to leave the house, leading to her having psychiatric treatment at Royal Oldham Hospital.
Relatives: Miss Menaz took out a forced marriage protection order at a family court which shielded her against her uncle and aunt Sabir Hussain (left), 60, Ruksana Kousar (right), 55, and her immediate family
She admitted herself to psychiatric care but was later discharged on anti-depressants on a home-visit plan because it was believed she could cope with her feelings and was not at risk to herself.
She was frequently seen by mental health professionals, including last being visited on the day of her death on May 1, when no reports of any suicidal thoughts or intentions of self-harm were made.
The inquest heard how on the day of her death, she had argued with Mr Rasool, who then went to see his family and visit their local mosque.
Miss Menaz had sent him a text message saying she was going to hang herself, and when he returned home at around 6.30pm he found his wife’s body.
There were about 60 wounds found to her leg and forehead but a police investigation ruled out third party involvement and a post-mortem examination confirmed her cause of death as hanging.
Coroner Simon Nelson said Mr Hussain had made it clear to police that he had issues over Miss Menaz’s relationship with Mr Rasool, and had even suggested he may have murdered her.
Sad case: The inquest was told Miss Menaz (pictured) struggled to deal with ‘traumatic experiences in her childhood’ including being sexually abused, which she dealt with by self harming
But Greater Manchester Police Detective Sergeant Rachel Eaton told how Mr Rasool was ‘extremely upset and shocked and was in a devastated state’ after finding his wife’s body.
Ms Eaton told the court how phones belonging to Miss Menaz and Mr Rasool were interrogated and his movements were corroborated to where he had been after leaving the property that day.
People who she believed were her parents were in fact her aunt and uncle
Simon Nelson, coroner
But she said: ‘In light of Miss Menaz’s death, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) withdrew the complaint in August this year in relation to an assault prior to her death.
‘Her brother had been charged and the case was due at court, however the charges were dropped following Miss Menaz’s death.’
The inquest also heard medical evidence from Miss Menaz’s GP Dr Asad Mubarik, which revealed had previously tried to hang herself.
She overdosed on her medicine many times and ‘rang for an ambulance when she felt suicidal’.
Dr Philip Taylor, trainee psychiatrist at Royal Oldham Hospital, told how Miss Menaz frequently described feeling low and having feelings of self-harm.
On occasions she expressed suicidal tendencies, but said her daughter was the ‘main protective factor against these’.
Model: Miss Menaz admitted herself to psychiatric care but was later discharged on anti-depressants on a home-visit plan because it was believed she could cope with her feelings and was not at risk to herself
The inquest heard how Miss Menaz was eventually diagnosed as having an emotionally unstable personality disorder and it was agreed that she was well enough to return home, despite being on medication for anxiety, depression, insomnia and depression.
Concluding the inquest, Mr Nelson said: ‘As the inquiry has heard, Miss Menaz definitely related to the traumatic events of her childhood.
She describes overdoses at the ages of 14, 18 and 19 and she voluntarily reports or frequent acts of self-harm detracting her from her terrible thoughts
Simon Nelson, coroner
‘She describes that people who she believed were her parents were in fact her aunt and uncle and a sexual assault at the age of 15.
‘She describes overdoses at the ages of 14, 18 and 19 and she voluntarily reports or frequent acts of self-harm detracting her from her terrible thoughts.’
He added: ‘She took part in an Islamic marriage ceremony in 2011 and she had the courage to apply for a forced marriage protection order that was granted on December 5, 2014.
‘Given the cause of death, given that I’m sure to the observation of no third party involvement, then I have to infer that her death came about by her own hand.
‘Over the final months of her life, she had been expressing suicidal ideations which were very different from the superficial injuries she had been inflicting on her thighs and her forehead.’