A model allegedly hanged herself over fears that her parents would force her into an arranged marriage, an inquest heard.
Nadia Menaz, 24, was already married in an Islamic ceremony in 2011 but her family did not approve of her husband and it was not recognised under English law.
The mother-of-one was so troubled by her “very strained” relationship with her parents that she suffered depression, cut off her hair during bouts of self-harm, Oldham Coroner’s Court heard.
Last December, Menaz also took out a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) against her father Sabir Hussain, 60, and her mother Ruksana Kousar, 55, and three of her eight siblings.
According to government guidelines, the FMPO legislation protects women if they are being threatened with a forced marriage or are already within a forced marriage.
At the hearing on Monday (21), Hussain and Kousar denied attempting to force Menaz into marriage and initially claimed they were unaware of the forced marriage protection order. But under questioning they admitted they were aware of the order - and then claimed her daughter had been murdered by a “third party”.
Coroner Simon Nelson said Hussain had made it clear in a statement to police he had issues over his daughter’s relationship with Umar Rasool, 25.
They began dating in 2010 – initially keeping their relationship hidden from her parents – until they married in April 2011.
Speaking through an interpreter, Hussain told the hearing: “Once she got married there was no point in having issues. He used to assault her physically. They used to have a lot of arguments at home.
“I don’t believe my daughter killed herself. All of her life I never realised and never sensed it that she was having any problems that could cause her death this way. I think my daughter has been killed and she has not died in the way described”, he said.
Kousar said: “Nadia was already married and she had a daughter as well so there was no point of having this forced marriage protection order.”
Menaz, who began modelling after leaving her family home at 16 also worked as a wedding planner and florist. Her cousin Mohammad Nakash Ali told the hearing she had been ‘distressed’ prior to her death.
“She was quite distressed about quite a few things.
“It was mostly her family from what she told me and she had a quarrel with her husband which is normal with every relationship.
“She was stressed about her future and relationship and family and business and children. She vocalised her problems with her family in terms of her brother and relationship with her father and siblings.
“She told me she was stressed about things that had happened in the past and she was dealing with things by self-harming. She said her relationship with her immediate family was very strained, she tried very hard to make amends but it wouldn’t work.”
Coroner Nelson asked Rasool if he was in any way involved in “an altercation” and he denied any involvement.
On the day of her death on May 1, she had an argument with Rasool who then went to see his family.
She sent him a text saying she was going to hang herself and when he returned home at around 6.30pm he found his wife’s body.
The inquest into the death will conclude at a later date this year.