Woman engulfed in flames tragically dies after screaming ‘my husband, he did it’
The inquest will resume tomorrow
A woman who was engulfed in flames tragically died after running into the street screaming, ‘my husband, he did it’.
Nosheen Akhtar, 31, died at Wythenshawe Hospital after suffering severe burns as she told paramedics ‘her husband threw liquid on her’ before ‘setting her on fire’, an inquest has heard — reported by the Manchester Evening News.
She passed away the day after the horrific incident at her home on East Street in Bury, on July 23rd, 2021. One of the paramedics who treated Ms Akhtar said that she told her: “My husband, he did it.”
Amy Bradburn described Ms Akhtar — who was also known as Sarah Hussain — as having ‘extensive burns’ on her body and her ‘face looked as though it had melted’.
Ms Bradburn’s colleague, Duncan Mayoh, recalled Ms Akhtar ‘screaming in agony for us to help her’ and while inside the ambulance on the way to hospital, he said Ms Akhtar claimed ‘her husband had thrown liquid on her and set her on fire’.
Mr Mayoh said Ms Akhtar did not appear ‘confused’ when she made the claim, after receiving a high dose of morphine.
While Ms Akhtar was rushed to casualty, her husband Waqas Mahmood was treated at the scene for several blister burns to his hand. Paramedic Dominic Wilson said he appeared ‘worked up’ but was ‘co-operative’ while he attended to his injuries.
He told the inquest: “I asked what had happened and he explained that his wife had poured white spirit on herself and set fire to herself. She came into the living room on fire and he set about trying to extinguish the flames using cushions, towels and blankets then picked her up and took her out of the house.”
However, the inquest heard that CCTV footage showed Ms Akhtar running out of the property whilst on fire. She was then followed by Mr Mahmood and his brother Hasnain Mahmood —who could both be seen using cushions attempting to put the flames out.
Investigators who visited Ms Akhtar and Mr Mahmood’s home following the incident found two open bottles containing an accelerant and a lighter on the living room floor, the inquest was told.
Emma Wilson, a fire investigator who examined the scene, said tests showed the accelerant had likely been poured over Ms Akhtar before the back of her tunic was set alight. She also said the damage to the sofa and throw in the living room suggested Ms Akhtar was standing when her clothing was set alight before sitting down for ‘a matter of seconds’.
Ms Wilson added that either Ms Akhtar or Mr Mahmood could have set the clothing alight, but Ms Akhtar would have had to ‘reach around’ herself in order to do so. She added: “It would seem more likely that the wearer would ignite it in an accessible location.
“It’s less likely she would reach around to ignite it at the rear.”
A post-mortem examination carried out on Ms Akhtar’s body found she had suffered ‘widespread burns to her body’, the inquest heard. In a statement read out in court, pathologist Dr Philip Lumb gave her cause of death as ‘burns and inhalation of the products of combustion’.
The inquest heard that in the months prior to her death, Ms Akhtar, who grew up in Pakistan, had spoken to family and health professionals about problems in her marriage with Mr Mahmood. Ms Akhtar’s mother, Zaheera Bibi, said her daughter told her that she and Mr Mahmood regularly argued and she was ‘fed up’ about Mr Mahmood visiting his ex-wife.
She said: “She used to ring and cry on the phone. There were so many fights and arguments between them.”
Following a visit to see family in Pakistan in 2020, Ms Bibi said Ms Akhtar started crying and ‘seemed worried’ about returning home to the UK. She added: “She wanted to make her marriage successful and she wanted to do whatever she could do to save her marriage.”
The inquest went on to hear that Ms Akhtar was taken to hospital in February 2021 after taking an overdose, and told medics she had done so following an argument in which Mr Mahmood threatened to leave her.
Ms Akhtar’s GP, Dr Afzal Hussain, told the inquest that during an appointment the next month, Ms Akhtar claimed she had taken the overdose ‘in frustration’ and accused Mr Mahmood of ‘neglecting and ignoring’ her. He added: “The majority of her issues were related to her husband still seeing his ex-wife and children on an almost daily basis.”
Ms Bibi said she and her daughter spoke on the phone on a daily basis. During a conversation on the afternoon of July 23rd, she said Ms Akhtar seemed ‘in a happy mood’ and did not believe she would have set herself on fire.
In a statement read out in court, Ms Akhtar’s family described her as ‘brave’ and ‘good-natured’ but said she ‘kept a lot from the family’. They said: “Nosheen did not want to show the family that she was stressed.
“She was very nice. She used to take care of us like a mother. She had a good nature and used to think of us all while living in the UK. She used to get worried for others and always wanted to do something for them.”
The inquest, expected to last seven days, will continue tomorrow.
‘State-of-the-art’ snow leopard habitat at Chester Zoo given go-ahead
‘The plan is designed to enhance our position as one of the world’s best conservation, animal and leisure attractions between now and 2030’
Exciting new plans to launch a state-of-the-art snow leopard habitat at Chester Zoo have been released after being given the green light.
The North West’s hugely popular visitor attraction and animal conservation had its planning application given the rubber stamp by Cheshire West and Chester Council on Thursday March 16th. The zoo plans to build a new animal holding facility with on-show and off-show animal enclosures, and a public viewing area.
It will be situated at the eastern edge of the site in an existing enclosure. It currently houses a Blesbok habitat and Wetland Bird Nursery, which are being relocated to the Conservation Breeding and Management Area (CBMA), located on Caughall Road.
A statement submitted from Chester Zoo with the planning application read: “The plan is designed to enhance our position as one of the world’s best conservation, animal and leisure attractions between now and 2030.
“Building on the success of our ground-breaking islands habitats which first opened in 2015 to bring South East Asia to life in Cheshire, the remainder of the zoo will be sensitively transformed through the creation of large scale themed zones.
“As a leading tourist attraction, it is imperative that we continue to invest and improve our facilities for excellent education, animal welfare and visitor satisfaction. The snow leopard is an iconic species with significant public draw and should help drive visitation to the zoo during a period with no other major visitor developments taking place.
“The intention is to construct the enclosure on an existing animal habitat with no increase to staff numbers or traffic as part of this application.”
Highways officer Paul Parry requested a condition be added to the planning consent for full details of the phasing of the demolition and construction traffic for the development to be provided prior to the works.
He stated: “It is considered that the overall proposals would not give rise to such a significant increase in the level of typical daily zoo visitor traffic that would have an additional severe impact on the operation or safety of the local highway network.
“There will be construction traffic related to the build out period and this will result in construction vehicles using Caughall Road to access the site. Whilst this will have an impact on Caughall Road it is considered that, as it will be finite construction period, a refusal reason based on construction traffic impacts would not be robust grounds for a refusal.
“I would expect to see a Construction Traffic Management Plan in place to set out how such traffic and its impacts would be managed and mitigated for.
“I would expect such a plan to have control measures set out within it to avoid construction vehicle movements, including larger vehicles undertaking deliveries etc. at the school drop off and pick up periods for Acresfield Primary School.”
Doggy soft play with bouncy castle and ball pools is reopening ‘bigger and better’
It’s set to be ‘bigger and better’
A doggy soft play area is preparing to reopen its doors in Greater Manchester for the new season and will be ‘bigger and better than before’.
Bark N Bounce doggy daycare is set to reopen its doors next month at its site in Boothstown near Worsley, Salford. From Saturday April 1st, it will be offering stay and play sessions, birthday parties and breed meet-ups for puppies and dogs — a huge hit with owners.
It also offers a place to stay at the site’s Keepers Boarding Kennels to have a run around, as owners can book a play session as part of their pet’s stay.
The indoor and outdoor ball pools are hugely popular among the pet pooches, but there’s plenty more to keep them entertained including an 18 ft bouncy castle with slides, tunnels and more for the doggos to explore and enjoy.
The venue first opened as a secure outdoor field area in 2019, but later expanded with a 90ft indoor section too — allowing the animals to play in all weathers while their owners could keep dry too.
Now, as it’s all set for reopening for the spring and summer, some new additions are also being added, including a drinks trailer and some outdoor seating so that the human customers can enjoy a drink and a snack while their dogs are busy playing.
Owner Harley Chester said: “We’ll be opening from April 1st and can’t wait to see customers old and new. We’ll have all the equipment that the dogs love, including the bouncy castle, ball pools, tunnels and slides and are adding a few extra bits that we think people will love.”
There are less weekend slots available for private bookings this year, meaning priority will be given to people with five or more dog bookings, with the remaining slots going live on the website from the end of March.
You can book on the stay and play group sessions, or book for private hire, for either just your dog, or your dog and their friends. Group Sessions cost £15 and run for 90 minutes. Private sessions and birthday parties cost £20 for up to two dogs, with additional dogs at £10 each. These run for 55 minutes.
You can add extras including personalised banners, party hats, mini party bags, and a mini buffet. You will find Bark N Bounce at Keepers Cottage, Vicars Hall Lane, Boothstown, Manchester M28 1JA.
Hero cop that jumped in freezing River Irwell to save drowning man receives bravery award
‘We are there to protect people, to save people’
A hero Greater Manchester cop who saved a man’s life from drowning in a river has received an honour.
PC Mohammed Nadeem bravely dived 8ft into the freezing River Irwell in February 2018 to rescue a man in distress from the fast moving water. He stayed in the water with the man until a ladder was lowered down to retrieve them.
PC Nadeem had only joined the Greater Manchester Police force, in Bury, just a few months earlier and was still a student police officer at the time. He earned the nickname ‘The Hoff’ for his selfless and heroic act, and after the name stuck, he even received praise from the Baywatch star himself.
David Hasselhoff recorded a special video for PC Nadeem for when he received the award at the national Police Bravery Awards. The heroic copper was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery — And features on this year’s Civilian Gallantry list — the last to have been handed out in the name of the late Queen Elizabeth.
A summary of PC Nadeem’s brave actions was released ahead of the awards ceremony, which read: “On Saturday February 17th 2018, police received a call of a distressed male on a bridge over the River Irwell.
“The situation was particularly sensitive as the man, wanting to take his own life, was a veteran in a poor mental state. Several officers were deployed and on arrival the man had jumped into the water and was clearly in difficulty.
“PC Nadeem, on seeing the man had gone beneath the water, jumped into the River Irwell to save him. He jumped from an 8-foot drop, wearing body armour and personal safety equipment as there wasn’t time to remove these items in case the man drowned.
“The water was fast moving, deep and very cold. The man was swimming away from the officer in the direction of an incredibly dangerous weir, as he was intent on drowning. PC Nadeem caught up with him, grabbed him and dragged him to the side.
“Both the man and PC Nadeem were suffering the effects of the freezing cold, but nevertheless, due to the difficult egress, PC Nadeem remained in the water with the man until a ladder was lowered down to assist them in getting out.”
Speaking at the time, he said: “I thought this person might not survive, so I jumped into the water to save him. Somehow I managed to get to him and bring him to a place of safety. I wouldn’t say I’m a good swimmer, especially in deep flowing water.
“But saving him is the best feeling in the job. We are there to protect people, to save people.”
After the awards were announced, Oliver Dowden MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “We all hope we’d react with courage in the face of danger. These people have lived through that test, and responded in the most admirable way.
“Their selfless actions have saved lives, and I want to express profound thanks for their willingness to put themselves in danger to protect others. They are all extremely worthy winners of the final Civilian Gallantry awards of Her Majesty the late Queen.”