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Bus driver killed wife ‘after she asked him to move out because he had Covid’

Saturday February 6, 2021
By Sam Corbishley

Hussein Egal, 66, allegedly murdered 57-year-old Maryan Ismail at their flat in Edmonton, north London (Picture: Central News)

A bus driver bludgeoned his wife in a ‘frenzied’ attack after she asked him to move out because he was suffering from coronavirus, a court heard today.

Hussein Egal, 66, allegedly murdered 57-year-old Maryan Ismail at their flat in Edmonton, north London, during the first lockdown on April 6 last year.

The Old Bailey was told he used a variety of household items including a table leg and ladder to inflict horrific injuries during the brutal attack.

Egal has admitted carrying out the killing but denies it was murder.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Allison Hunter QC described the scene at the victim’s home in Edmonton, north London.

She told jurors it was a ‘brutal, frenzied, sustained attack involving the use of a hammer, a knife or knives, pots and pans, a table leg and a ladder plunged repeatedly into her back, chest, legs and head’.

Mrs Ismail, a school cleaner, was found partially naked on the floor of the blood-splattered lounge. Jurors heard an examination identified 68 sites of injuries all over her body.

They included multiple slash and stab wounds to her face, head and the entire length of her body, Ms Hunter said.

The Somali defendant had offered a number of explanations for the killing.

Ms Hunter said: ‘Over the course of the investigation he has offered a number of suggested explanations for why and how.

‘To the concierge who called the police, he said he hit her over the head with something the night before.

‘To the officer escorting him out of the police van on arrival at the police station, he said that a thief or thieves stole money while he was in Tottenham High Road and fraudulently used his bank cards, and they should be traced and found because they were the cause of him killing his wife.

‘To that same officer, minutes later, he said that his wife had threatened him that he must leave her accommodation because he was – he says – suffering from Covid-19, and he had said to her “I will kill you first” and so he had.

‘Later, through a statement prepared by a legal advisor and prior to interview by police, he said that he was delusional as a result of mental illness he claimed to have suffered years ago.’

He also alleged that his wife had attacked him with a table leg and he had defended himself, the court heard.

But Ms Hunter told jurors Egal demonstrated no symptoms of Covid-19 and had not a single defensive injury.

The prosecutor rejected his claim to have been mentally ill at the time.

Egal washed a meat cleaver used in the attack, disposed of his wife’s mobile phone and visited the bank to transfer money to his daughter in Somalia, the court was told. Ms Hunter said it could only have been Egal’s intention to ‘cause her the most serious harm imaginable’. She added: ‘His motive is something only he knows.’

Ms Hunter said the attack ‘bore all the hallmarks of temper and rage’.

She said: ‘Undoubtedly panicked by the enormity of what he has done, he is scrabbling for a plausible explanation to give to the police for his conduct.

‘There is no evidence he was ever suffering from Covid, for which he continues to refuse his blood to be tested.’

The prosecutor suggested Egal’s comment to the police officer could provide an explanation.

Egal has admitted manslaughter but denied the charge of murder.

Earlier, Judge Mark Lucraft QC told jurors that reporters were observing the case by video link as a Covid-19 measure to reduce numbers in court.

The trial continues.