Bus driver killed wife in ‘frenzied’ attack after ‘she told him to leave home because he had Covid’

Maryan Ismail suffered 68 injuries after she was allegedly stabbed with meat cleaver, table leg and ladder

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 04 February 2021 11:17
Maryan Ismail was murdered in the Edmonton home she shared with her husband
Maryan Ismail was murdered in the Edmonton home she shared with her husband
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A bus driver who killed his wife in a “frenzied” attack claimed he did so because she told him to leave home after contracting Covid-19, a court has heard.

Hussein Egal, 66, allegedly used a variety of household items including a meat cleaver, table leg and ladder to attack 57-year-old Maryan Ismail.

He has admitted carrying out the killing during England’s coronavirus lockdown in early April last year but denies it was murder.

Prosecutor Allison Hunter QC described the scene at the victim's home in Edmonton, north London, in court.

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".

Ms Ismail, a school cleaner, was found partially naked on the floor of the lounge following the attack.

A post-mortem examination identified 68 sites of injuries all over her body, the Old Bailey heard.

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

The Somalian defendant offered a number of explanations for the killing, including that his wife told him he could "get out and die on the street" because he had coronavirus.

According to the defendant, he responded by telling her: "I will kill you first."

On arrival at Wood Green police station, Egal allegedly told the officer who opened the van door he had coronavirus and he should stay away from him.

He also alleged that his wife had attacked him with a table leg and he acted in self-defence.

But prosecutor 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 a police officer could provide an explanation.

He allegedly told the officer: "She said I can get out and die on the street, I said I will kill you first, so I did."

Egal has admitted manslaughter but denied the charge of murder.

The trial continues

Additional reporting by PA