A jury has convicted a married couple of killing their brother-in-law during a violent family fight.
Mazammal Mahmood Butt sustained a fatal stab wound in the car park at the back of his flat in Lozells around 3.30pm on Sunday, November 17, 2019.
The 27-year-old, affectionately known as ‘Zammy’, stumbled to Lozells Street where he collapsed. He was pronounced dead before arriving at the hospital.
Following a trial at Coventry Crown Court a jury has now convicted Mr Butt’s cousin and brother-in-law Mobeen Shahzad of his murder, whilst they found his wife Sheridan Fitzsimmons guilty of his manslaughter.
Sentencing will take place tomorrow.
It was undisputed that Shahzad, aged 28, of Osborne Grove, Lozells, inflicted the fatal knife wound. However his legal case was that he only acted to defend Fitzsimmons, aged 29 of Conybere Street, Highgate who at the time was heavily pregnant with their child.
Moments before the stabbing she had been fighting with Mr Butt’s wife Madihya Mazammal, who claimed Fitzsimmons ordered Shahzad to ‘finish’ and ‘kill’ Mr Butt – something she denied.
The court heard how in the days leading up to the incident allegations and insults exchanged between the couples had caused ‘all hell to break loose’ within the family.
But the war of words was also the culmination of tensions which had been simmering for months.
The court heard how one major bone of contention, particularly with Fitszimmons, was the fact Mr Butt and his wife lived in the flat above the family business Mazammal Halal Meats, run by Shahzad, with their rent and bills covered by income from the butchers.
While in July 2019 police were called to a family fight in the premises, supposedly born out of a row over Mr Butt’s standards of work. But in the November that year matters escalated to new levels.
Fitzsimmons made an allegation about Mr Butt which sparked a showdown confrontation between the couples in the shop on Saturday, November 16. The defendant launched a mop at Mr Butt and called him a ‘b******’. Mrs Mazammal returned the foul-mouthed insult but extended it to her, Shahzad and their children.
The following day Fitzsimmons attended the shop to collect some meat for dinner. But at some point she, her husband, Mr Butt and Mrs Mazammal found themselves rowing and fighting with each other in the car park.
Shahzad claimed it was Mr Butt who brought the knife to the scene but that he wrestled it from his grasp.
He conceded he was still holding it and must have inflicted the fatal blow to his cousin in the ‘little tussle’ between them that followed. But he claimed he could not remember doing so and that it must have been an accident.
Mortally wounded, Mr Butt fled into Lozells Street, his wife going to his aid shortly afterwards. Shahzad and Fitzsimmons left the scene separately.
They were stopped by armed police in Fitzsimmons’ Audi on Alum Rock Road shortly after 5pm. Shahzad was immediately arrested. Initially Fitzsimmons was treated as a witness but the following day she too became a suspect.