An Iraqi immigrant was sentenced to 34 years in an Arizona prison for running over and killing his 20-year-old daughter because she became too Westernised.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle told Faleh Hassan Almaleki that forgiveness is the core of all religion, but the judge said he was struck by Almaleki’s apparent lack of remorse for killing Noor Almaleki.

The case caused outrage after prosecutors deemed it an honour killing because Faleh Almaleki had said his daughter dishonoured his family.

Defence lawyers called the death an accident.

But Maricopa County attorney Bill Montgomery, whose prosecutors handled the case, said “the killing of one’s own child is more than just a violation of the law”.

“It is an offence against parenthood itself and the awesome responsibility parents have for nurturing and protecting their children,” he said. “Dishonour, disrespect and other cultural mores can never serve as a justification for the taking of an innocent life.”

A jury found Almaleki guilty of second-degree murder for the killing and aggravated assault for running over the mother of Noor Almaleki’s boyfriend.

Jurors also convicted Faleh Almaleki of two counts of leaving the scene of an accident.

On October 20, 2009, Noor Almaleki and Amal Khalaf were leaving a Department of Economic Security office when Faleh Almaleki hit them with his Jeep before fleeing the country, prosecutors said.

Khalaf lived but Noor Almaleki was in a coma for two weeks before she died from her injuries.

Faleh Almaleki moved his family from Iraq to the Phoenix suburb of Glendale in the mid-1990s. He wanted his daughter to adhere to Iraqi traditions, but she wanted to be a typical American girl. At 17, she refused to enter an arranged marriage in Iraq and later moved in with her boyfriend.