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Arranged marriage woman, 20, died in Smethwick canal

Sandwell | News | Published:

A 20-year-old woman committed suicide following an arranged marriage, an inquest heard.

Shareen Liaqat of Legge Street, West Bromwich, was found by contractors working on the Smethwick canal on January 27 this year.

The court heard how Miss Liaqat had called her brother Nadeem at around 7.10pm on the evening before her body was discovered.

Cause of death was confirmed as drowning though the body had suffered extensive injuries after death due to being caught in a propeller of a tug boat.

Lead coroner for the Black Country Zafar Saddique gave a verdict of suicide. He said: "It seems to me she was leading a slight double life. She doesn't seem entirely happy with her arranged marriage but saying that it's not completely clear to me. However she did go into that canal voluntarily and all I can conclude is that sadly she took her own life.

"The exact reasons we can never know. It's an absolute tragedy."

Speaking at the inquest that took place at Smethwick council house on April 14, brother Mr Liaqat said: "She sounded a bit upset.

"She just said 'when mom and dad come to look for me I'll be in Smethwick canal.' I asked her what was wrong and she said 'I've got to go, I have to go now.'"

A laptop recovered from Miss Liaqat's family home revealed she had looked up Islamic prayers following suicide and Islamic teachings on suicide as well as high buildings and canals.

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The court heard how Miss Liaqat had been subject to a public protection order in June 2014 to prevent her family taking her abroad to marry.

However, she had travelled to Pakistan and married a cousin on her mother's side two years her senior in December 2015.

Mother Noor Jan said: "She never told me she was unhappy. She seemed fine, happy with the arrangements, going out shopping for everything."

Three of Miss Liaqat's friends gave evidence in court. One, who preferred not to be named said: "She had said to me, these were her exact words, about her husband 'I hope he dies so I don't have to deal with all the trouble.'"

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It was understood at Miss Liaqat had to file paperwork to bring her husband over from Pakistan. She had told relatives she would work on the documents once she had found a new job.

Another of Miss Liaqat's friends said that she too was going through an arranged marriage and had advised her 'not to make the same mistakes I did.'

"She was always the person I went to with my problems, but she would only tell me certain things." she added.

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