Man jailed for 22 years for wife’s ‘vicious’ murder in lockdown

Hussein Egal showed ‘little if any remorse’ after killing, says judge

Rory Sullivan
Friday 26 February 2021 13:35
<p>Police say killing was ‘a wanton act of violence’ as court rejects bus driver’s claim of mental ill health</p>

Police say killing was ‘a wanton act of violence’ as court rejects bus driver’s claim of mental ill health

A bus driver has been sentenced to at least 22 years in prison for murdering his wife during the coronavirus lockdown.

Hussein Egal, 66, killed school cleaner Maryan Ismail, 57, with blows from numerous objects, including a hammer, a table leg and a ladder.

The police found her body, showing some 70 separate injuries, under a blanket at her flat in Edmonton, north London, last April.

A jury at the Old Bailey found Egal guilty on Wednesday, rejecting his defence of diminished responsibility. He had claimed mental illness as a mitigating factor, as well as saying that Ms Ismail had threatened to throw him out because he had Covid-19.

On Friday, Judge Mark Lucraft QC jailed Egal for a minimum of 22 years and, in his concluding remarks, called the attack “sustained and vicious”.

He said: “Quite what your motivation for this attack was, only you will really know. In the period immediately before the attack, and in the period that followed, you largely carried on with your life.

“Your actions show that you had little if any remorse immediately after the events – your thoughts then were entirely about yourself and not Maryan.”

The judge pointed out that a psychiatric evaluation found Egal was not suffering from any major mental disorder and that there was no evidence he had coronavirus at the time of the murder.

Judge Lucraft added that the evidence indicated that Egan had killed his wife “in the middle of an intense rage”.

Ms Ismail, a mother of one, was described as a “kind and calm person with a good heart” by one of her friends.

Earlier this week, Detective Sergeant Lucy Carberry, of the Metropolitan Police, said she had suffered appalling injuries.

“The officers who discovered Maryan’s body were faced with a truly terrible scene. Maryan had suffered extensive injuries and the turmoil and disorder in the flat showed there had been a considerable disturbance,” she said.

The officer added that the murder was “a wanton act of violence, carried out with sheer ferocity”.

She implored those suffering from domestic abuse to seek help. “If you feel in danger, always call police. If you suspect someone is suffering from domestic violence make the phone call and tell police. That call could save a life and save you from a lifetime of regret,” she added.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Anyone who needs help can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year on 0808 2000 247, or via its website https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk