POLICE today welcomed a court ruling that a vicious killer must stay behind bars.
Detectives applauded a High Court ruling that one of two brothers involved in a so-called `honour killing' in Huddersfield will not see his sentence reduced.
Abdul Haq, jailed for life with his brother for murdering their sister and her lover in a double killing was told by a High Court judge that there was no justification for reducing the minimum period he must spend in jail before being considered for parole.
Haq and his brother, Mohammed Saleem, were both given life sentences in 1991 at Leeds Crown Court.
Their victims were their 18-year-old sister Sharifan Bibi, of Bath Street, Huddersfield, and her lover Hashmat Ali, 44.
Both were murdered by the pair after allegedly bringing disgrace on their devout Muslim family by living together.
The couple, who had been living in Highfields, disappeared in December 1988 and were never seen again.
No bodies were found, but police believe the pair were probably cut up and burned in the cellar of a house in Crosland Road, Thornton Lodge.
Bibi, who had been through an arranged marriage in Pakistan, was said to have brought disgrace upon the family by taking a lover.
The Home Secretary set Haq's minimum term, or tariff, for retribution and deterrence at 16 years.
Yesterday Haq, who was 23 at the time of the murders, applied for a reduction in the period he must serve in prison before early release provisions apply to him.
His application was made under new laws which state that judges, not the Home Secretary, must fix tariffs.
Rejecting the application, Mr Justice Stanley Burnton, sitting at the High Court in London, said: "The motive for the murders certainly did not mitigate their seriousness, nor did the fact that they were, it seems, instigated within the family by someone to whom the applicant would normally accord respect."
The trial judge had said the murders were "almost certainly directed by the father of the family, one Mumtaz Ahmed, but the evidence did not establish how, when or where they took place".
The judge said Haq's application for a reduced tariff was partly based on the progress he had made in prison since his conviction, but that was "not sufficiently exceptional" to justify a reduction.
The judge said: "It is certainly insufficient to justify a reduction below 16 years for a double `honour' murder of a sister and her lover, with the aggravating circumstances of the concealment or destruction of their bodies."
Det Insp Ian Devey, of Huddersfield CID, was one of the detectives involved in the painstaking inquiry.
He said: "It was one of those cases where the defendants never admitted responsibility and never helped police identify a murder scene or where they had disposed of the bodies.
"I am pleased the sentence tariff has not been cut.
"These people have always had the opportunity to help us find the bodies and at last enable members of the victims' extended families bring a closure to this tragic matter".