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Man jailed for life after stabbing wife 49 times in front of 12-year-old son

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A “controlling bully” who strangled and then stabbed his wife 49 times in front of her young son has been jailed for life.

Kema Salum, 39, pleaded guilty to the murder of 35-year-old Leyla Mtumwa at her home and was ordered to spend at least 23 years behind bars.

The defendant, from Tanzania, has a history of violence against an ex-wife and was living in Britain on a six-month visa having wed Ms Mtumwa in east Africa.

On the night before the 30 March murder, Salum became jealous because his wife had gone out with female friends, the Old Bailey heard.

He fell into a “violent rage” just before 7am and attempted to strangle her at their home in Haringey, north London.

Kema Salum has been jailed for life
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The judge called Kema Salum an ‘arrogant, controlling bully’

He then went into the kitchen to get a knife, using it to stab Ms Mtwumwa 49 times in the head, neck, body and arms, the court was told.

During the attack, her 12-year-old son screamed at him to stop before alerting police.

When he was arrested, Salum claimed he had acted in self-defence.

He had initially denied murder but changed his plea at the 11th hour at the Old Bailey.

The court heard how Salum had been “extremely violent” towards his ex-wife in the past and had “lied through his teeth” when he claimed to police he had been defending himself at all times.

Ms Mtumwa’s parents have been left devastated by her death, the court was told.

Her family said “yes” when Salum was sentenced.

Judge Richard Marks QC described the defendant as an “arrogant, controlling bully”.

He said: “This was a consistent attack of very considerable force which, although relatively short-lived, must have caused Leyla very substantial suffering before she died.

“Having started off attempting to strangle her you broke off, went to get a knife, and then resumed the attack.”

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