Pakistani jailed 18 years to life for wife's NY murder

NEW YORK (AFP) - A US judge sentenced an elderly Pakistani-American to 18 years to life in prison on Wednesday for murdering his wife in New York after she refused to cook him a goat supper.

Noor Hussain, 75, was convicted of second degree murder for killing Nazar in April 2011 as she lay in bed in their Brooklyn apartment after subjecting her to years of abuse.

Frail and with medical problems, Wednesday's sentencing from Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Matthew D'Emic means that Hussain will likely die behind bars, though he will be eligible for parole after 18 years.

District attorney Kenneth Thompson welcomed the tough penalty.

"This defendant viciously attacked his wife as she lay in bed, unable to defend herself," he said. "Now the defendant has been held accountable for this brutal and cowardly act."

Mr Thompson said Hussain "viciously" beat the 66-year-old Nazar, his third wife, to death. The medical examiner's office said she had been battered more than 20 times. She died of a fatal brain hemorrhage.

Hussain admitted only to striking her with a wooden stick after she made lentils rather than the goat dinner he wanted. He maintained she "disrespected" him by swearing and believed he was entitled to "discipline" his wife of 21 years.

The harrowing trial saw photographs of Nazar's swollen, bruised face, and of her body lying on a blood-stained bed next to a blood-soaked bedroom wall in the couple's modest apartment.

Neighbour Safida Khan told the court she heard the Hussains argue for years, and that she twice intervened. She testified hearing Ms Nazar "crying and yelling" and her husband "cursing and shouting" on the day she died.

Relatives said Hussain moved to the United States more than 30 years ago in search of a better life and worked at a gas station. Hussain had faced a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.