Tuesday 20 March 2018

Man pleads guilty to killing wife's cousin over affair suspicion

*Shahzad Hussain pleaded guilty to killing man he suspected of having affair with wife
*He suspected wife of having affair with her cousin, Muhammad Arif
*Sentenced to seven years for seriously injuring his wife
*Previous conviction quashed in 2014 after court raised issue with how provocation explained to jury

The Central Criminal Court, inset, Shahzad Hussain (35)
The Central Criminal Court, inset, Shahzad Hussain (35)
Shahzad Hussain
The Central Criminal Court

Alison O'Riordan

A Pakistani man has pleaded guilty to killing a man he suspected of having an affair with his wife.

Shahzad Hussain (35), with a last address at Woodland Avenue, Mosney, Co Meath, was previously jailed for life for murdering his wife's cousin and his own distant relative Muhammad Arif (32).

He was also sentenced to seven years for seriously injuring his wife Rashida Bibi Haider (44) and two years for assaulting her on January 6, 2011 at Mr Arif’s apartment in Fitzwilliam Court, Dyer Street, Drogheda, Co Louth. He had denied the charges.

However, in July 2014 the Court of Criminal Appeal quashed his murder conviction and ordered a retrial after a three-judge court found that there was a “very real risk of injustice” in the manner in which the central question of provocation was explained to the jury by the trial judge.

Today Mr Shane Costelloe SC, prosecuting, told the Central Criminal Court that in circumstances where the court of appeal had directed a retrial, he had been instructed by the DPP that Hussain could be arraigned on count one.

Hussain then pleaded not guilty to the murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Arif.

Prosecution counsel told the court that this plea "meets the case in the circumstances."

The court previously heard evidence that all three, who were originally from Pakistan, had lived together in Fitzwilliam Court.

However, difficulties arose in the arranged marriage of Ms Haider and the accused after he began to suspect that she was having an affairwith her cousin. Both husband and wife moved out separately in December 2010.

Defence counsel, Mr Dominic McGinn SC, told Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan that "there was a lot of evidence to go through" and she remanded Mr Hussain in custody until April 4 for sentencing.

The court heard Hussain was currently serving a sentence on the other two counts on the indictment "as those were not overturned by the court of appeal."

Mr McGinn told Ms Justice Heneghan that his client has been in custody for the last five years during which he has been in four different prisons. He asked for a governor report from each of those.

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