Pakistani man goes on trial for murdering man and injuring his own wife
A PAKISTANI man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court charged with murdering a man and injuring his own wife by stabbing them in Co Louth last year.
Shahzad Hussain (31) of Woodland Avenue, Mosney, Co Meath and formerly of Fitzwilliam Court, Dyer Street, Drogheda has pleaded not guilty to murdering Muhammad Arif (32) on January 7, 2011.
He has also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Rashda Bibi Haider and to intentionally or recklessly causing her serious harm at a fifth floor apartment in Fitzwilliam Court on January 6, 2011.
In her opening speech today, Aileen Donnelly SC, prosecuting, said that Ms Haider, who was Mr Hussein’s wife, was stabbed at the same time as the deceased in his apartment.
However Mr Arif died in hospital the following day from acute complications arising from a stab wound to his liver.
Ms Donnelly explained that both men and Ms Haider were originally from Pakistan although Ms Haider, who is now 40, had been raised in Holland from the age of six.
She said that in June 2006 Ms Haider returned to Pakistan to marry the accused, meeting him for the first time. She said they lived together in his family home for the first year of their marriage before Ms Haider returned to Holland.
She said that Ms Haider worked in Holland and returned to Pakistan for two months each year.
Ms Donnelly said that Ms Haider moved to Ireland at the end of 2008 and found a job in Drogheda through her relative, Muhammad Arif, who was a security guard in the Tesco Express in the town. She also shared his fifth floor apartment at Fitzwilliam Court.
Ms Haider applied for a visa for her husband to move to Ireland and he was granted this visa in April 2010. He moved to Drogheda and Mr Arif helped to find him a job at his workplace.
Ms Donnelly said that all three initially lived together in Mr Hussein’s flat but as time went on, difficulties arose in the marriage. Ms Haider moved to Dublin in December 2010, with Mr Hussain moving to Mosney.
“Mr Hussain made various efforts to contact her and invited her sister to intervene and arrange talks,” said Ms Donnelly.
She said that the accused became aware that his wife was in the flat in Fitzwilliam Court on January 6, 2011 and asked the facilities manager of the apartment complex to let him in. He did so.
“It’s the prosecution case that Mr Hussain used a knife from the kitchen to stab Mr Arif in the kitchen/living area, penetrating his clothing and his liver,” said Ms Donnelly.
“Mr Hussain stabbed his wife twice, also in the liver, and put the knife to her throat, superficially cutting it,” she continued.
She said that Mr Arif cried out for help through an open window and rang the gardai before collapsing, dying the following day.
“Ms Haider had life-saving surgery and will give evidence,” she explained.
Ms Donnelly said it was the State’s case that it was Mr Hussain’s intention to cause serious harm to his wife and to kill or seriously injure Mr Arif.
The jury of nine men and three women also heard from a number of neighbours of the deceased man, who said that only residents of the fifth floor had access to the corridor outside their apartments.
They said they saw a man, who appeared Indian, sitting outside the door of this corridor at lunchtime on January 6th. They said that as they opened the door to come out of this corridor, he got up from his chair and walked in through the open door.
One of the neighbours said he later saw him outside Mr Arif’s apartment.
The trial before Mr Justice Barry White is expected to last two weeks.