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Zimbabwean gets life for killing wife in UK

By Suzy Gibson

A ZIMBABWEAN asylum seeker who stabbed his wife 5 times in revenge for her sleeping with his half-brother was on Friday morning jailed for life by a UK judge in Leicester, England.

Sheperd Maswanhise was ordered to serve a minimum of 13 years and nine months before he is eligible for parole.

A jury of seven men and five women found the 35-year-old guilty of murdering Sheila Kasinkunba, the mother of his three daughters.

She died in the hallway of their flat in Leicester's Humberstone Road, after suffering five stab wounds to her chest and back, on the afternoon of August 31 last year.

He denied murder on the grounds of provocation and selfdefence. Mrs Kasinkunba had sex with her brother-in-law, who shared their flat, on the night before she died.

Timothy Spencer QC, prosecuting, said: 'The defendant found out.

'He regarded it as a gross betrayal, and a betrayal that had to be avenged.'

Passing sentence at Leicester Crown Court, Judge Michael Stokes QC said: 'You've been convicted of murdering your wife in particularly brutal circumstances. 'It?s clear, on the evidence, she was anxious to separate herself from you immediately before these events.

'Therewere phone calls to the police the night before and on the day of the killing.

'You were removed the night before and taken to another address but immediately returned and the police arrested you.

'You spent the night in custody and were released the following morning, when you returned.

'It must have been obvious your presence wasn't welcome.

You gained access and for a time there was a semblance of normality. Later, she left a neighbour's flat to fetchher shoes and you followed.

'I've no doubt you quickly armed yourself with that knife and viciously attacked her using considerable force, intending to kill her.

'There was a degree of premeditation. It wasn't a case of you retaliating on the spur of the moment.

'I'm prepared to accept you were affected by the knowledge your wife had been sexually involved with your brother, but it in no way justifies what you did or, as the jury found, diminish your responsibility for the killing.'

The couple's daughters remain living with relatives in their homeland, Zimbabwe.

Maswanhise came to the UK seeking asylum at the end of 2002, followed by his wife and half-brother several months later.

The man and wife had a tempestuous relationship, with frequent drink-fuelled rows, sometimes involving violence and needing police intervention.

Maswanhise claimed he stabbed his 34-year-old wife when fighting for his life after she stabbed him during a row.

The prosecution disagreed, saying he deliberately knifed her before wounding himself in the chest.

When his half-brother, Edmore Tandi (31), arrived moments later the defendant chased him with the bloodstained knife into a nearby street ? where Mr Tandi sought refuge in a house.

During the trial, Maswanhise wept when pictures of his wife's bloodstained clothing were shown.

He told the jury he had loved her and never intended hurting or killing her.

Frances Oldham QC, said prior to sentencing: 'Through me he wishes to express his great regret.'

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