Jailed: Husband who murdered wife at family home in Ilford

Ilyas Muhammad 

Ilyas was sentenced to life imprisonment - with a minimum term of 18 years - at the Old Bailey today (Friday, July 1) - Credit: Met

A man who murdered his wife at the family home in Ilford while their children were at school has been jailed.

Muhammad Ilyas, 41, of Kingston Road, was found guilty of the murder of Maria Rafael Chavex at the Old Bailey on June 10.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment - with a minimum term of 18 years - at the same court today (Friday, June 30).

Ilyas murdered 32-year-old Maria on May 13 last year, carrying out the killing before going on the school run.

The family came back home where they discovered Maria's lifeless body.

Police and paramedics were called to the home that evening, but the mother-of-three was pronounced dead shortly after.

There were no visible signs of injury, and the death was initially considered non-suspicious.

But a post-mortem examination later found that she had died from compression of the neck.

Most Read

Ilyas was arrested on May 26 following the results of that post-mortem and in light of additional concerns that were raised about his behaviour.

He was charged with murder the following day.

Following his arrest Ilyas denied killing Maria and told officers he believed she had died from natural causes.

The findings of the post-mortem examination disproved this.

Devi Kharran, senior crown prosecutor from the CPS London homicide unit, issued a statement following today's sentencing. 

“The CPS is committed to prosecuting offences of domestic violence," he began. 

“Muhammad Ilyas spun a web of lies after killing his wife of more than a decade.

"He deliberately, and cruelly pretended to be shocked and dismayed at finding his wife’s unresponsive body inside their family home – despite murdering her himself mere hours before."

The prosecution's case relied on witness testimony from Maria's family and friends which detailed "the controlling nature of her marriage".

"Ilyas has never taken responsibility for his actions but has managed to tear his family apart," added the prosecutor.