A pizzeria owner who murdered his wife and claimed she left him for another man has been jailed for life with a minimum sentence of 18 years.

Nezam Salangy, 44, continued to maintain his innocence as he was convicted by a court of using bank accounts and phone messages to create false leads that appeared to show Zobaidah Salangy was still alive.

A trial at Worcester Crown Court heard Salangy buried his wife overnight in a ‘deep’ makeshift grave and claimed not to know her whereabouts until she was found six months later.

Zobaidah Salangy was buried in a makeshift grave (West Mercia Police/PA)

Salangy, from northern Afghanistan, allegedly attacked and killed his 28-year-old wife at their pizzeria in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

His 34-year-old brother, Mohammed Yasin Salangi, who helped plan the cover-up, was jailed for four years and nine months, while another younger brother, Mohammed Ramin Salangi, who helped move and bury the body, was imprisoned for six years.

The younger brothers, from Adamscroft Place, Caerphilly, near Cardiff, were both convicted last month of aiding an offender.

The men’s trial was told that Nezam killed his wife of eight years on March 28, 2020, then called his brothers asking for help disposing of her body.

Mohammed Ramin traveled to Bromsgrove by taxi to help hide his sister-in-law’s body under the guise of delivering a part for a broken pizza oven.

Salangy, of Austin Road, Bromsgrove, later reported his wife missing to police, telling them ‘she went out for a run and never came back’ after she left him for a ‘new baby friend”.

Sentencing Thursday, Judge Hilliard acknowledged that the two younger brothers, who each served alongside Allied forces in Afghanistan, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Condemning aspects of the case as a “shameful” attempt to create a false trail, the judge told Nezam Salangy: “It is clear that the marriage had been unhappy for some time.”

Deciding that the business owner had considered killing his wife before the murder, the judge told him: “I’m sure you had been violent with her, sometimes slapping her with an open hand and pulling her hair, that which made it cut short.

“Zobaidah had contemplated suicide and it’s desperately sad that it came to this.

“In one recording (found after the murder) you appeared to rule out a divorce and said she was dead or you had.

“It’s clear that the relationship has completely broken down. I’m sure you intended to kill her.

The disposal of the body at a site near Lower Bentley, Worcestershire, was an aggravating factor in the murder, the judge said.

“She was not buried properly but was hidden to cover up the murder,” added the judge. “She was there for six and a half months and the pathologist could not give a cause of death as a result.”

Nezam Salangy was born in Afghanistan in 1978 and came to the UK in 2002 after his family was targeted by the Taliban.

He divorced his first wife in 2010 and married Zobaidah, a friend of his sister, in an arranged marriage in 2012, initially settling in Birmingham.

The court heard he continued to claim the body found near Bromsgrove was not that of his wife and that she was still alive.

In a victim impact statement read from the court filing during the sentencing hearing, the victim’s family said: “We are still in shock and misery.

According to the court, Zobaidah “loved people of all races and creeds” and wanted to start a career in the medical profession, having studied and achieved high grades in university under difficult conditions in Afghanistan.

The family statement added: “She was brutally and cruelly taken from us… and from our human society.

“This pain, suffering and misery will never go away and we will never forget it.”