Hong Kong court sentences Maldivian man to life imprisonment for murder of British woman

A 31 year-old Maldivian man has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Hong Kong for the murder of 64 year-old British woman Janet Gilson, a retired major in the Salvation Army.

Ahmed Fareed was arrested by Hong Kong police in March 2011 after the discovery of Janet Gilson’s body under a sofa in a flat belonging to her niece, Julia Fareed – the estranged wife of the accused.

During sentencing at Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance on Thursday (June 20), the presiding judge described Fareed as being “highly dangerous”, stating that the crime was a most brutal killing of a woman aged 64 who had done no harm to the defendant, the South China Morning Post reported.

Sentencing Fareed to life imprisonment, the judge said no motive had been established for the killing of Gilson.

During the trial, the jury heard that the accused had been previously barred via a court order from entering his wife’s home over concerns about his temper.

Media reported that the jury were told during the six day trial how Fareed stood accused of tying up Gilson with rope, before hitting her hard on her forehead. He was then accused of suffocating the victim by stuffing a towel in her mouth while she was still alive. Gilson’s body was later discovered with four broken ribs after being recovered by authorities.

The judge also accused Fareed of committing a calculated murder after the jury were told how he had sent a text message from Gilson’s phone telling her niece she had travelled to Aberdeen in Scotland.

The jury were unanimous in declaring Fareed guilty of the crime.

“Ultimate sacrifice”

Speaking to media after the trial, Julia Fareed praised her late aunt for the “ultimate sacrifice” she had made to allow both herself and her daughter to leave her ex-husband “without fear”.

“To those people that are in relationships with violent partners: I strongly urge you to get away, putting [yourselves at a] sufficient distance to end matters peacefully,” she was quoted as saying.

“I made the mistake of believing I could help change my ex-husband, giving him many chances,” she said. “I realise the error of that judgement now and hope that others can also learn from that.”

Speaking to local media today, Fareed’s family in the Maldives expressed “shock” at the life sentence passed by the Hong Kong court.

Ramzee Mohamed, Fareed’s brother, told Haveeru that his family had previously been informed by the Foreign Ministry that there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction.

Ramzee claimed Fareed had also never displayed any behaviour in line with the violent nature of the attack, adding that his family did not understand why he attacked the victim instead of his ex-wife.

“He had problems with his wife. So it’s difficult to understand why he would murder her aunt. It’s difficult to believe. But when a court has passed the judgement, what can we do? We could appeal the judgment if it was the Maldives,” he was quoted as saying.

According to Haveeru, Fareed’s family also accused his ex-wife of influencing the trial, alleging she was “extremely influential” in Honk Kong, but without clarifying further.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed today that no official notice had been received informing them of the outcome of the trial.

“We have not received a letter yet confirming the verdict, as it was announced over the weekend here,” the spokesperson said today. “However, I think we will get the verdict soon.”

The Foreign Ministry said that in cases where Maldives nationals were imprisoned of facing trial abroad, it was required to provide assistance such as establishing communications with their family.

“From the start of this case, we have been in contact [with Fareed] through our Chinese Embassy and honorary consulate in Hong Kong to provide services like translation and to keep him in touch with his family,” said the spokesperson.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the Maldives itself had no agreements with Chinese authorities regarding the transfer of prisoners in custody, adding that Fareed would be expected to serve his sentence in Hong Kong “for the time being”.

Fareed’s arrest

Fareed was arrested in March 2011 on Hong Kong pier after Janet Gilson’s body had been found during a second search of her niece’s flat.  Gilson went missing on March 15, 10 days after arriving in Hong Kong. The body was reported to have severe head injuries when discovered.

Local media in the UK reported that Gilson was a long-serving Major in the British branch of the Salvation Army, an international Christian institution with a quasi-military structure known for its charitable work and rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug addicts, and had worked for 40 years as a Christian missionary.

“She had stopped the missionary work but she was still active and in a very high position [in the Salvation Army],” Gilson’s neighbour in her home of Leigh-on-Sea told local media at the time.


21 thoughts on “Hong Kong court sentences Maldivian man to life imprisonment for murder of British woman”

  1. Of course, if it is a negative story about a Maldivian Muslim the kuffars will report it, without care for how this will negatively effect our country's reputation and our tourism industry. But the hate-filled kuffar will never report on how the Israelis murder Palestinian babies everyday. Does no one care about the Palestinian babies being murdered?

  2. Because it's a Maldivian news outlet reporting on Maldivian issues you utter dimwit.

    If it was a Maldivian in Palestine killing babies, they'd report it.

    People like you do more damage to the Maldives. Foreigners will read your comments and book Mauritius/Seychelles instead. Fearful of the complete ignorance in your writings.

  3. @human being on Sun, 23rd Jun 2013 6:28 PM

    "Of course, if it is a negative story about a Maldivian Muslim the kuffars will report it..."

    Don't blame the messenger. If he was such a true Muslim, then why did he murder another human being? Or is that justified under your version of Islam?

  4. i would like to express my deepest condolences to Janet Gilson’s family.. R.I.P Ms. Gilson..

    I hope there will be no extradition for Fareed.. as if he is transferred to Male' he will be seen on the streets on next day..

    @ human being, if u kill ur own mother or mother in law what does it have to do with tourism of a country?

  5. Palestinian babies were not the point in this article.
    The point was murder on a 64 year-old British woman.
    If your point of view would be right: why is Fareed’s family in the Maldives expressed “shocked” at the life sentence?
    why do you not ask for death penalty following sharia you hypocrite?

  6. @ everybody.
    A fake islamophobe is impersonating me, the good 'human being'. I don't mind getting some publicity, but i don't comment on every thread in Minivan.

  7. Being a Maldivian man Fareed was probably high on drugs when he committed the murder. My deepest sympathy to Janet Gilson's family.
    Will minivan please publish a picture of this thug. Bet he's short, fat and ugly as sin.....like all Maldivian men.

  8. To attention of "Human Being" :
    "Reporting on Maldivians negatively effects ... ".
    Typical attitude. Rather not talking about wrong or bad things. Oh dear, the reputation of ... the island, the religion, the country, the family.... Even sexual abuse wiil be hidden.
    Typical attitude for our "culture" too. From pre-school onward we are forced and trained to obey. In particular to the rich and powerful, the con sheikhs and fake mullahs.
    Too much predictable : the Palestine's are there and the Zionists have done it.
    All daily killings, of muslims around world, it's all because of the Zionists that Sunnis kill Shiites, of course.
    Why don't you take your suppari and leave for Syria ? On which btw you would fight ? With the Irani's and Hezbollah ? Or with the Al Qaeda, the Saudis, Qatar and the kafirs. Including the States of The Evil ! Just to ask though.
    Btw, Muslims kill more Muslims in one month than Zionists in five years.
    Btw, in each and every Muslim country : no peace, infighting, killings, abuse women, no development, ruled by feudal kings or authoritarian leaders if not dictators.
    Salaam !

  9. @missindia

    Uhm, wonder what the crime stats is like in india, AND amount of (often perverted) crimes committed by your folk internationally, you'd be surprised.
    Short and fat? at least we use deodorant.

  10. condolences to the poor lady's family, this was highly unfortunate something as horrible and disgusting as this had to happen, to anyone

  11. MissIndia and others;

    This 'Maldivian' murdered a 'retired major' of the 'salvation army'. yes, according to salafi dotcom sites, the salvation army is a christian missionary organization.

    I guess he must've felt like he killed a 'high-ranking officer of the christians'.

    So it's quite likely that the old lady was yet another victim of some drug-addled, ignorant mujahideen looking to rape 72 virgins in Imran's brothel in the sky with diamonds.

  12. Hey, DIVA Maldives a mauritius hotel compnay chnaged thier name to LUX Resorts after a tourist was murdered in one of the Hotel in Mauritius just two years back.

    Does this mean that the entire people from Mauritius are murderer ? No I do not think and neither any one from the country had tried to damage the country reputation

    But here in Maldives, some yellow party gangs are trying every possible means to defame the country and its tourism sectors.

    Shame on Nasheed and his activists .

  13. Miss India. every single does not passed without occurring a murder in your country.

    There are millions of children engaged in forced labor in your country even today. what a bull shit you are talking about?

    Do expect Fili Nasheed will again any election in this country and will sell this country to India for peanuts.

    I wonder why the hell you are still working in Maldives ? I guess an idiot like you will never be able to get a decent job in India among billions of people there.

  14. I think that Maldivians are becoming for violent as I read more stories like this. Stay in your own country please if you are going to do crazy things like this.

    I think that the Maldives is getting to dangerous to visit now.

  15. @Bill Thompson: As if no murder happens in your own country! Why don't you stay locked in your own house man, your own streets are still more dangerous than ours 🙂
    We don't care even if you guys come here or not, we have chinese tourists now, more market and more richer than you binge drinking and jacket potato eaters who live of welfare benefits 🙂

  16. Most of these comments made here are Nasheed aligned paid people and they are making negative comments here to defame the country and its people.

    Every country had its own problem but no one tries to defame thier own country like Nasheed does.

  17. It's no coincidence that the regime sympathisers see this story as an attack on Islam and religious Maldivians!

    Firstly, let's establish some facts. This story appeared in local papers such as Haveeru and Sun on their front pages under prominent headlines, long before it appeared here on Minivan.

    Secondly, a cowardly act of murder was uncovered and the guilty was handed just punishment. Note that this is a rarity in the Maldivian justice system.

    Some people just cannot handle facts. It seems the dark age mentality of Abu Jahl still permeates Maldivian society.

  18. "Julia Fareed praised her late aunt for the “ultimate sacrifice...” "

  19. I was at the trial and know fareed and here are a few facts. He was a heavy user of the drugs ice and smoked marijuana. He had been arrested for possesion of marijuana at least once and was involved in an undercover operation in Hong Kong where he supplied marijuana to police officers. He was violent and abusive to his then wife on many many occasions, being arrested countless times. was a menace on the island of lamma where he lived, never getting a job. His family are in denial if they think he had nothing to do with this. What a total idiot this guy is. I hope he rots in jail.

  20. Kuribee. You must be really threatened because you use every opportunity to attack Nasheed and MDP. I know what your aim is. However, don't be ignorant of the fact that many of us see through your attempts at disinformation. At the end, you are doing more harm to your own reputation and enhancing that of MDP and Nasheed. Your lack of reasoning skills and your tendency to respond to every situation with your own highly practised propaganda shows how little thought you give to the real issue discussed. Keep at it kuribee. You are a symbol of all the things we hate about regime supporters!

  21. Oh, I quoted that comment above... "“Julia Fareed praised her late aunt for the “ultimate sacrifice…” because I thought it was unbelievably moving and powerful, NOT because I was insulting it.


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