A MOTHER-of-five was murdered and set on fire because her husband believed she had become too powerful, a court heard.

Mohammed Arshad, 42, began plotting the murder of his wife Fiza Asif with his brother Abdul Jabbar, 54, when she threatened to have her illegal immigrant brother-in-law deported, a jury at the Old Bailey was told on Tuesday.

The men were said to wanted to end her control of the family business and finances and initially discussed hiring a hitman.

But Jabbar is accused of taking matters into his own hands by suffocating the 28-year-old victim and setting fire to the family home in Palmerston Road, Walthamstow, on January 4 last year.

It is alleged her husband was boarding a plane to Pakistan at the time of the killing.

Ms Asif's body was pulled from the ashes of the home she shared with Arshad, their five children and Jabbar's family.

Prosecutor Zoe Johnson QC said her husband and brother-in-law had been planning the killing for since 2007 after becoming jealous of her hold on the family purse strings.

She said: 'It seems that because she was the first one of that group to gain legitimacy in this country and therefore had access to all the benefits and services here in this country that comes with the ability to remain in the jurisdiction.

"She simply had too much power within the household.

"It is a feature of this case that although there were many women living in the house, it was still a house of traditional patriarchal values.

"As astonishing as it seems, the first two defendants, both older men, believed that a women was disposable if she became too powerful."

Arshad ran a Perfect Fried Chicken shop, but the lease was in his wife's name and much of the money was channelled through her as he did not have a UK bank account, jurors heard.

Miss Johnson added: "Fiza had threatened that once she got her British citizenship, she would throw Jabbar and his family out of the house and get them deported."

It was then that the two began discussing how they could get rid of their victim, it is alleged.

Jabbar's 19-year-old son, Ibrahim Farooq, is also on trial, accused of perverting the course of justice.

He is said to have provided witness statements claiming his father was working at the time of the killing.

Arshad and Jabbar deny murder and conspiracy to murder. Farooq, of the same address, denies perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.