Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. But before remembering the first victim in our August campaign – I would like to write about a woman (I will call her Lynn) who lived. Yesterday I met Lynn an abuse survivor of twenty years. Married when she was just nineteen, her husband immediately started to control her.
Lynn was so frightened of him that she walked with her head looking at her feet – knowing if she even remotely looked at a man, she was risking abuse and violence. “I could write a book”, Lynn told me as we sat in a pub; “I could not leave him; I had nowhere to go, and I needed to look after the kids. He said he would change, but he never did – culminating in him trying to strangle me. The marks were clearly visible, and I went to the police – they wanted to prosecute, but I withdrew my complaint because of the fear and upset”.
Eventually, Lynn left her husband and survived – but Miriam Nyazema did not escape from her partner and was murdered by him in July 2015.
Miriam, had a relationship with a British soldier Josphat Mutekedza but as the relationship soured, she tried to break from him after realising he was cheating on her and started a new relationship with Jacob Chigombe.
Josphat Mutekedza became jealous that Miriam had ended the relationship and decided to attack them both. The Daily Mail reported:
A British soldier stabbed a Bupa nurse to death, knifing her 26 times in the face and chest and left her for dead in her neighbour’s garden. Father-of-one Josphat Mutekedza, 36, a private in the Territorial Army, killed his 37-year-old ex-girlfriend Miriam Nyazema as he lay in wait for her to arrive home with her new boyfriend. As Miss Nyazema lay dying with the blade still lodged in her back, Mutekedza battered her around the head with a stool shouting: ‘She’s caused this mess. ‘I can’t believe what she’s done to me, it’s all her fault’.
He was also seen waving a handgun and called police saying: ‘She’s been cheating on me – sleeping with another man. Where’s that man, I’m going to f*****g kill him.’
At Bolton Crown Court, Mutekedza was found guilty of murder after just an hour of deliberation by a jury and was ordered to serve a minimum 26 years. The army private, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, had been engaged to the mother of his baby son but began an affair with the victim who lived in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
Miriam told work colleagues that the relationship had ended and she was now more interested in Jacob Chigombe.
On sentencing, the judge said:
‘This was a sustained, savage and brutal attack planned by you as you waited in Miriam’s house. ‘You ambushed Miriam and Jacob giving them no warning and little chance to flee.