Man 'murdered wife in fake burglary'

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A school dinner lady was murdered by her husband in a faked burglary to gain a £375,000 life insurance payout, a court heard today.

Mikdat Sahpaz, 46, was also having a secret relationship with another woman and wanted to avoid a messy divorce from wife Elif Oruc, jurors were told.

Sahpaz allegedly stabbed the mother-of-two, 42, through the heart, leaving her to bleed to death at their home in Wembley, north London, in July last year.

He came home with the couple's children who found that their games console had been ripped from its stand and removed, the Old Bailey heard.

Sahpaz entered the kitchen and found the "truly terrible sight" of the lifeless body of his wife lying on the floor, said Duncan Penny, prosecuting.

Mr Penny said: "To most men, this sickening sight would be something of a shock. To this man it was not. And the reason? Because this man was both her husband and her murderer."

He added: "It is no coincidence that it was the defendant who stood to benefit by in the region of £375,000, and to take unfettered title to two properties which together they owned."

After killing his wife, Sahpaz allegedly took steps "to make their home address look like the scene of a burglary".

He also disposed of evidence and gave a "fabricated account" to police of his movements on the day of the murder, jurors heard.

The victim, who was said to have been "devoted" to her children - a son of nine and a 13-year-old daughter - had told friends she wanted to divorce her husband, and that she suspected he had a girlfriend, the court heard.

Mr Penny said Sahpaz was having a "secret relationship of some sort" with divorcee Serpil Aksoy, 33, holding four credit card accounts with her.

Two months before his wife's death he had travelled to Germany with Ms Aksoy and her children - with his own family "wholly unaware of his whereabouts", jurors heard.

Mr Penny said that between them Sahpaz and his wife owned four properties worth more than £1 million - two of them only in his name.

He told the court: "Come July 2009, the apparent untimely and unexpected death of Elif Oruc would represent an altogether more acceptable solution to the defendant than would a messy and expensive divorce."

Sahpaz, of Carlton Avenue East, Wembley, denies murder.

Mr Penny said Ms Oruc was a hard-working Turkish immigrant who had run a sandwich shop before selling the business and becoming a dinner lady at Barham School.

He added: "She was devoted to her children and spent her afternoons and evenings running them around to various after-school activities."

Her daughter had gained entrance to a prestigious girls' school and played the violin in an orchestra.

The defendant, a Kurdish refugee, worked as an interpreter for people attending a community centre and for solicitors representing Turkish clients, but had "little to do with the upbringing of his children", the court heard.

Mr Penny said the couple had mortgages on their properties of just over £375,000.

He said the "story of their life in this country was one of relative success".

But Ms Oruc had complained that the marriage had not been going well for five or six years and that she and her husband slept in separate beds, the court heard.

She said they were not in love and the week before her death "said she had decided to divorce him and was going to take steps to that end", jurors were told.

The court also heard that she complained her husband was "lazy" and did not contribute to household expenses and that "she suspected that the defendant had a girlfriend".

Jurors were also told that Sahpaz had withdrawn more than £17,000 from an account containing savings for one of their children.