Steve White, Paul Byrne, Andy Lines — Belfast Telegraph.co.uk March 26, 2017
The first wife of Birmingham terrorist Khalid Masood has said he was a ‘violent, controlling psychopath’.
She was married to him for just three months before moving away because of how much he scared her.
The woman – who is 14 years his junior – didn’t recognise her ex-husband despite watching footage of him on an emergency trolley outside Parliament after he was shot by armed police.
He had killed four people.
“She got out with just a suitcase, just her clothes,” a relative told the Birmingham Mail’s sister Daily Mirror newspaper. “She went to the other end of the country because she was scared of him.
“She didn’t know it was him. She’ll be appalled. We all really can’t take this in.
“He was very violent towards her, controlling in every aspect of her life – what she wore, where she went…everything.
“He was a psychopath and I mean that in the medical definition of the word. He came from a nice family, had everything, but there was something very wrong with him.
“They were living in Crawley and he was knocking around with a crew of not very nice people. He was a loner, but the friends he had were basically criminals.”
Masood – born Adrian Russell Elms – converted to Islam while he was serving a prison sentence.
”He never had any connection with the faith before,” the relative insisted.
After one particularly violent confrontation Masood’s 38-year-old wife fled their home and fled to friends in Middlesborough.
“That’s how bad it was,” said the relative. “She was terrified, he was a dangerous man.”
He tracked his wife down, but Farzana bravely insisted on a divorce.
“She was granted Talaq – an Islamic divorce,” the relative revealed. “She thought she was free of him.”
It is believed that after the divorce the killer, who mowed down innocents on Westminster Bridge at 70mph before stabbing PC Keith Palmer to death – travelled to Saudi Arabia where he worked as an English tutor.
“He contacted his wife out of the blue again in 2008 with a message through a friend,” the relative added. “He told her he wanted to talk. She said they had nothing to talk about. She never heard from him again.”
The wife rebuilt her life, settling in Oldham, Greater Manchester, and re-married.
“We’ve been watching what happened on television,” said the relative. “It was absolutely horrible. How could someone do that?
“It was part of her life that she had put behind her. Now he’s brought this to her door.”
Masood, who is believed to have at least three children, led a life punctuated by outbursts of violence and prison sentences.
His temper brought horror to an idyllic village in East Sussex, where he attacked a man in a pub car park in Northiam, near Rye, with a knife – leaving him with a scar across his face that need 20 stitches.
Masood was jailed for two years for the 2000 attack on Piers Mott.
”He was a nutter, everyone knew he was a nutter,” Mr Mott’s widow, Heather Mott said. “He certainly wasn’t a Muslim then.
“I got a call to tell me the man who stabbed my husband was the same man who did this terrible thing.
“It’s shocking, it’s brought back memories that have been buried for a long time.
“Piers stepped into help someone and was slashed by this nutter. Piers was a brave man.”
Heather says that Masood came out of jail “even worse”. Locals say he was known as “a troubled character” who regularly drank in the pub.
Alice Williams, landlady of the Rose and Crown in the village of Beckley, described him as “intelligent but odd”.
“He was very intelligent but always slightly sinister,” said Mrs Williams, 59. “He would do the Telegraph crossword and would make intelligent conversation, although he was a bit racist.
“He always had a chip on his shoulder, but I’m surprised he became quite that extreme.”
In Northiam, Masood married again, and the couple lived in a bungalow with two young daughters.
A villager told how he changed after being released from jail, adding: “He was radicalised by other inmates, and converted to Islam. He became a real extremist.
“He left his wife and girls and went to live in Eastbourne.
“She was left to bring up two girls on her own.”