Reema Ramzan was in her last year of school in 2011 when, in the everyday setting of Sheffield’s Peace Gardens, she met and fell in love with the man who was to become her killer.
Her family disapproved because of Aras Hussein’s age – he was three years older – and her mother and brother Sohail begged Reema to end things.
A rift developed, and Reema ran away from home. Her family reported her missing to police.
She eventually returned – but, tragically, and despite her mother accompanying her and from Sheffield College to try to keep Hussein away, the couple continued to meet in secret.
Hussein had a control over Reema which her family could not break.
The relationship became more sinister when he took sexual pictures of her and blackmailed her, threatening to show the photos to her family if she ever left him.
She reported him to the police, and the images were found and deleted by an officer ‘who gave him advice about his future conduct’, prosecutor Graham Reeds QC told Sheffield Crown Court.
Jurors were also told about an occasion in 2011 or 2012, when Reema’s mum had known she was meeting Hussein, and she returned home ‘crying and distressed’ claiming she had been assaulted. Her brother could see red marks around her neck.
Sohail called Hussein – who coldly told him he ‘would do what he liked’.
Reema’s family were so concerned her brother confiscated her passport, for fear she might flee the country with Hussein.
Now 21, he is originally from Iraq and came to the UK to seek asylum when he was around 13. His exact date of birth is not officially known.
Reema was eventually given her passport back – and when the 18-year-old was found decapitated in Hussein’s Shirecliffe flat last June, her passport was beneath her body and she had £1,640 in cash in her jeans.
Another £1,460 was found in Hussein’s bedroom, along with his passport.
Reema’s family will never know what their beloved daughter was planning – and Hussein has never explained his actions.
He told officers at the scene, ‘I did it, I killed someone, I need to die’, adding, ‘I don’t know why I did it. I need punished for it’.
Hussein, who had worked as a pizza delivery driver in Sheffield, spent time in foster care after fleeing Iraq.
He told a social worker there had been ‘significant violent conflict’ in his homeland – and that his father ‘involved him in some of that’.
Dr Pauline Souflas, a consultant forensic psychiatrist who assessed him at Rampton, said: “He gave an account of having to carry explosives for his father to places in Iraq where he subsequently learnt there were explosions.”
During his time on remand he spent two months mute, and several weeks naked.
Hussein told experts he ‘heard voices’ and ‘commands’ in Kurdish in his head.