A FATHER, who brutally stabbed to death his seven months pregnant wife and killed their unborn son, was today told he would be locked up for at least a quarter of a century.

Tariq Khan, 27, stabbed 24-year-old Nadia Khan 16 times, to the chest, back and abdomen, at their home in Holker Street, Manningham, Bradford, in June this year.

He was today jailed for life at Bradford Crown Court and told he would spend a minimum of 24 years and 247 days behind bars before the Parole Board could consider whether he should be released.

The couple's two children, aged three and five, were in the house when the murder took place. The court heard Khan left the knife embedded in Nadia's chest and fled the house, locking the children inside with her body.

Sentencing him, Judge Roger Thomas QC, the Recorder of Bradford, said it was a knife attack of particular ferocity. He said Khan had delivered five substantial blows stab wounds to Nadia's abdomen, destroying the child he knew she was carrying.

Khan had pleaded guilty to murder, child destruction, and an earlier assault on his wife.

Judge Thomas QC, told him he set about Nadia and her unborn son with "extreme and ferocious violence, using a kitchen knife over and over again and driving it deep into her body and also into the body of your son."

The court heard Khan was on police bail, with conditions not to contact his wife or go within 100 metres of their home in Holker Street, Manningham, Bradford, for beating her just weeks before he murdered her.

But Judge Thomas said that on the day of the murder, Sunday, June 14, Khan had been "devious and cunning" in taking her 13-year-old nephew to the house to get round her fear of Khan and her reluctance to let him in.

Prosecutor Peter Moulson QC said the nephew was being used by Khan to emotionally blackmail his wife, who let them in. Khan was not armed at the time. The 13-year-old stayed in the living room with Nadia's children, aged three and five, while Khan went to talk to Nadia in the kitchen.

The teenager told police: "They were talking nicely and I just heard a loud scream and then the door shut. I went to see what happened inside the kitchen. Nadia was laid down with a knife and blood was coming out."

The boy called 999.

Mr Moulson said: "That call was made as a result of him seeing Nadia on her back in the kitchen with a knife protruding from her chest and with numerous other injuries to her body. He witnessed that scene along with Nadia's two young children."

After the attack Khan left the house, locking the children inside and taking the keys. He was arrested in the early hours of the following morning.

Nadia was pronounced dead at the scene.

A pathologist found Nadia had three stab wounds to her upper back, eight to her chest and five to her abdomen, three of which had fatally injured the 31-week unborn baby boy. One of the stab wounds to the upper back had severed the spinal cord, immediately paralysing the mother.

Mr Moulson said the stab wounds to the abdomen were to deliberately kill the child.

Mr Moulson said Khan had no previous convictions, but there was a history of domestic violence. The couple had married in Pakistan in 2008.

VIDEO: Family statement read to media following murder sentencing Family of murdered Nadia Khan call for husband who killed her to never be freed

Family of murdered Nadia Khan call for husband who killed her to never be freed

Nadia had lived in Bradford for most of the marriage. Her husband was granted permission to live in the UK in 2014 and moved into the family home last October. But by the start of this year the relationship had deteriorated and a Domestic Violence Protection Order was granted in December after Khan assaulted his wife in front of their children on Christmas Day.

Police will look into the possibility of deporting Khan back to his native Pakistan after he has served his sentence.

The court heard Khan had been given permission to come to the UK late last year, but he was only on a temporary residence order.

The senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Mark McManus, said after the case that police would be exploring the possibility of deportation, if and when Khan was granted parole.

Det Chief Insp McManus said it was the wish of Nadia's family that Khan was deported.

The police chief said it had been a traumatic and distressing case.

He said: "Nadia's children were in the house, as was her 13-year-old nephew. Words cannot describe what they must have seen and heard.

"Khan was clearly a very dangerous man. I am pleased that justice has been done. The community is a safer place with him behind bars."

Det Chief Insp McManus said Nadia's mother, sister and brother would do their utmost to provide her two children with the love, care and emotional support they needed.

He added: "Our condolences remain with Nadia's family and friends and we hope they can find some comfort in the sentence he has received."