Case: The dinner lady, her cheating husband and the 375,000 pounds life insurance
Elif Oruc
Mikdat Sahpaz
Status: Solved
Categories: Domestic
Case synopsis:

Cheating husband Mikdat Sahpaz stabbed his wife to death to cash in on life insurance policies worth £375,000.

The 47 year-old Turkish businessman had been having a secret relationship with another woman for four years but feared he would be left out of pocket if mother-of-two Elif Oruc found out.

To the outside world they were a succesful couple with a large family home, a cafe and two other properties with a total value of £1m.

Their 13 year-old daughter, a keen violinist, was a pupil the prestigious Henrietta Barnett school in Hampstead.

But unlike his hardworking wife, Sahpaz had lost his paid job at a Kurdish community centre in Green Lanes, Haringey, in 2006.

He continued to volunteer as an interpreter there but had 'little to do' with his children was described as lazy.

Elif OrucMrs Oruc (pictured right), a 42 year-old dinner lady at Barham Primary School in Wembley, had confided in friends her marriage was over and she was planning a divorce. They slept in separate rooms and had not spoken to each other for a year before the killing.

She suspected he had a girlfriend and thought she would be 'better off on her own with the children'.

Mrs Oruc also claimed her husband did not contribute to household expenses and she was supporting him financially.

Between May 2006 and May 2009 Sahpaz drained more than £17,000 in savings from his daughter's savings account.

He had also taken out four credit cards in the name of his mistress.

Prosecutor Duncan Penny told the Old Bailey: 'Perhaps most significantly of all upon the death of his wife,he stood to receive in the region of £375,000 in respect of two life insurance policies and would take the title of two properties which they jointly owned.

'Come July 2009 the apparently untimely and unexpected death of Elif Oruc would represent an altogether more acceptable solution to the defendant than would a messy and expensive divorce.'

When his wife found out about the money missing from the account, he hatched a plan to kill her and make it look like a burglary.

After stabbing her in the heart in the kitchen of their home in Carlton Avenue East, Wembley, west London, he collected his daughter from an orchestral performance and his nine year-old son from a cub scout group.

Just after 10pm on July 10, 2009, he made a 999 call claiming he and his children had returned home to discover her dead body.

The house had been ransacked and several items were missing.

But three days later a tip-off from a friend of Sahpaz led police to a secluded in West Hendon where the stolen goods were recovered.

The same friend later later found a kitchen knife hidden in the rear of his van where Sahpaz had been sitting. The weapon bore Elif's blood.

Sahpaz also had fresh scratches to his arm thought to have been inflicted by Elif as she desperately tried to defend herself.

He suggested he had been injured picking blackberries and claimed he had been at the community centre at the time of the killing.

Mikdat SahpazSahpaz (pictured left) was jailed for life after being convicted of murder and was told he would serve at 20 years behind bars.

The Recorder of London, Judge Peter Beaumont QC said: 'The circumstances of your wife's death drive me to the conclusion that there was an intention to kill, there was also a significant degree of planning and pre-meditation, the scene was manipulated in order to distract the police investigation, evidence was disposed of and another has been blamed.'

Detective Chief Inspector Tim Duffield of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command said: "Mikdat Sahpaz not only callously and coldly planned the murder of his wife, but he engineered the evening's events to ensure that his children were present when he supposedly 'discovered' their mother's body.

"The investigation exposed a man whose desire was to lead a life very much apart from his family, and who had secretly squandered the children's life savings to fund his selfish indulgencies.

" Sahphaz knew Elif's plans of divorce would bring an abrupt end to this comfortable lifestyle, and he was all too aware that he stood to gain very significant assets upon her death."

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