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A man has been jailed for the murder of his wife in Ilford

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A man has been jailed for the murder of his wife in Ilford

A man who was convicted of murdering his wife at their family home in east London has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Muhammad Ilyas, 41 (06.11.80), of Kingston Road, Ilford, was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday, 1 July, and will serve a minimum of 18 years.

He had previously been found guilty on Friday, 10 June of the murder of Maria Rafael Chavez.

Police were called on the evening of 13 May 2021 after Maria was found unresponsive at a residential property in Kingston Road.

Officers attended along with London Ambulance Service, however Maria, aged 32, was pronounced dead at the scene.

An initial investigation at the scene found Maria hadn't suffered any obvious injuries and there were no signs of a disturbance. 

Officers arranged for a special post-mortem examination to establish how she died. This was carried out on 26 May 2021 and revealed Maria had suffered compression to her neck, likely to have been as a result of being strangled.

Homicide detectives from the Met's Specialist Crime Command carried out further enquiries, which included collecting CCTV evidence and speaking to neighbours.

This information, along with the pathologist's findings, helped officers establish that Ilyas had killed Maria during the afternoon of 13 May 2021.

Ilyas was arrested and interviewed about his involvement in Maria's death. He denied killing Maria and told officers he believed she had died from natural causes. The findings of the post-mortem examination disproved this.

The couple had moved the UK in 2019 and Maria was attending a college course to learn English at the time of her death. Ilyas was working on a market stall in Stratford.

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