Man jailed after 'khat' attack

17th January 2007

We deplore the killing of Hodan - yet another woman killed because of addiction at the hands of her husband.

ON 17th January, a man who attacked and killed his wife after "chewing khat" was jailed for life at the Old Bailey. Omar Saleh, 32, was found guilty of murdering 24-year-old Hodan who was found collapsed with stab wounds, including a fatal one to her neck at their north London home in April, last year. Victor Temple QC, prosecuting, said: "It is likely this defendant was experiencing the effects of Khat."

Saleh, of Stoke Newington, north London, claimed he did not remember what happened. He was told he would serve a minimum of 13 years.

Khat causes hallucinations and paranoia and that is why we at DAAP educate particularly the Somali community to understand the dangers of chewing Khat. Men who chew Khat must acknowledge that the habit is affecting them, their family and their community in the most detrimental manner. It is not acceptable for men who chew Khat at best to be absent from their families and at worst to commit violence and murder. The community has to take responsibility and condemn all such acts.

DAAP is concerned about criminalizing the Somali community further and have not joined other organizations in calling for a ban on Khat. Murders such as these will make us reconsider our position.

Find out more about the dangers connected with Khat use.