Murder suspect is arrested after 'wife' was stabbed while pushing her baby in a pram

Tuesday, April 9, 2024
 – A Bangladeshi student wanted on suspicion of stabbing a mother to death has been arrested by police.

A major manhunt was launched for Habibur Masum after 27-year-old Kulsuma Akter was ambushed in a shocking daylight attack while she walked with her five-month-old son during a shopping trip on Saturday.

The suspect, from Oldham, was arrested in the early hours of this morning in the Aylesbury area - 180 miles away from Bradford. He is believed to be the father of the child, according to locals.

Masum appeared at Tameside Magistrates' Court accused of assaulting and threatening to kill Ms Akter last November but was released on bail.

Prosecutors argued for Masum to be remanded in custody after he pleaded not guilty to the charges, it emerged today.

However, his solicitor argued he should not be jailed and magistrates agreed to grant Masum conditional bail, on the basis that he was to have no contact with the victim and another relative, and not to go to a particular address in Oldham.

The case was adjourned for 10 months, with Masum next ordered to appear before JPs on September 30.

Police have already arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Greater Manchester Police and West Yorkshire Police have both referred themselves to the Independent Officer for Police Conduct due to their previous contact with Masum and Ms Akter.

Masum, who is from the city of Sylhet in eastern Bangladesh, studied for a master's in digital marketing at the University of Bedfordshire, and shares travel vlogs of his 'adventures' and life in the UK to his 14 YouTube subscribers.

Announcing the arrest today, Detective Chief Inspector Stacey Atkinson, of West Yorkshire Police's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, said: 'This is a tragic incident in which a mother has lost her life in the most horrific of circumstances.

'We understand that this has caused a considerable amount of concern in the local community. Local neighbourhood policing teams are patrolling the area conducting reassurance to the community.

'We would like to thank Thames Valley Police for their support and assistance in this matter.'

A witness at a nearby fruit and veg shop in Bradford revealed Ms Akter's death was caught on their CCTV, with footage showing a seemingly peaceful conversation being shattered by the horrific attack.

The bystander told The Sun: 'He just wanted to see his son. He has got the bus from Oldham to Bradford Interchange, then caught a taxi up here.

'He has walked up Westgate from town with the mother and baby. They have then been chatting outside the shop for about five minutes, just talking together.

'He has not tried to grab his son or anything, he just wanted to see him.'

According to another eyewitness, the mother was stabbed 'four to five times' in the neck while shopping with a friend. The baby was not harmed.

Geo Khan, 69, who runs the shop, tried to resuscitate Ms Akter, who was one of his customers.

Mr Khan said he was sitting in his store on Saturday afternoon when he was alerted by screams on the other side of Westgate, in central Bradford.

He said he rushed over to Ms. Akter, who was with a friend outside a convenience store on Wigan Street, and was joined by a doctor as others called the ambulance.

'I was sitting in my shop and heard screaming,' Mr Khan said on Monday. I came out and I tried to check the pulse. There was no pulse.'

He said: 'Blood was all over on the floor and there were stab wounds in her neck.'

Mr Khan said he was joined by the passing doctor who took over trying to help Ms Akter, but agreed there was no pulse.

'Him and me and another guy tried to rescue her, but she was already gone,' Mr Khan said. 'I don't think she was there anymore.'

He said: 'Whatever happened, it's a very sad thing.'

Mr Khan said Ms Akter came into his shop the day before the incident, and he believes she only came to the area a few weeks ago.

He said the baby is about four or five months old. Mr Khan said he believes she is from Bangladesh.

He said: 'She was a very, very innocent person - the smile on her face.'

At a press conference yesterday, Assistant Chief Constable Damien Miller of West Yorkshire Police said Ms Akter was from Oldham, Greater Manchester, where she had been in contact with police prior to moving to Bradford.

He added that Masum was also known to police in Greater Manchester.

'On Saturday April 6, shortly before 3.20pm Kulsuma Akter was walking in Bradford city centre,' he said.

'Kulsuma was with her young baby at this time, and was walking along Westgate when she was attacked and stabbed multiple times.

'The emergency services were called at 3.21pm. However, despite the best efforts of members of the public, ambulance crews, and hospital staff, Kulsuma sadly lost her life due to the injuries. Her baby is safe and well and was not harmed in this incident.'

Detective Superintendent Jude Holmes, from GMP, said: 'We share the shock and concern that our communities feel in the wake of this tragic incident, and our thoughts are with Kulsuma Akter's family at this truly distressing time.

'Habibur Masum is wanted by West Yorkshire Police on suspicion of murder. Due to his links to Greater Manchester, we have our specialist officers following several lines of enquiry to locate him.

'Due to previous police contact with Habibur Masum and Kulsuma Akter, Greater Manchester Police has made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.'

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