'Burka' killer sentenced to life behind bars

Abdul Malik Rustam admitted he donned the headdress -- which disguised his face -- and wedge shoes...

Abdul Malik Rustam admitted he donned the headdress -- which disguised his face -- and wedge shoes when he killed his wife. (Court photo)

Sam Pazzano, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:51 PM ET

TORONTO — A Muslim man who wore a traditional woman’s burka and female shoes before he strangled his estranged wife was sentenced Wednesday to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 17 years, a judge ruled.

Justice John McMahon passed the sentence for second-degree murder against Abdul Malik Rustam, who admitted he donned the headdress -- which disguised his face -- and wedge shoes when he killed his wife, Shaher Bano Shahdady, after she asked for a divorce.

The murder occurred in her Scarborough, Ont. apartment and Rustam left their almost two-year-old son abandoned for 15 hours before Shahdady’s body was discovered.

“The accused demonstrated an exceptionally callous disregard for that young child’s well being,” said McMahon. “It’s hard to fathom what that child went through. The only glimmer of hope is that he’s so young it will fade into the child’s memory.”

Rustam, now 30, pleaded guilty on Valentine’s Day to second-degree murder in the July 22, 2011, slaying.

Shahdady fought for her life, leaving scratch marks on Rustam’s face and neck and keeping his DNA underneath her fingernails, court heard. On the day of the murder, Rustam confessed to his brother he “finished her by the throat.”


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