Wednesday 13 December 2017

Woman tells husband’s murder trial he thought she was in relationship with man he allegedly killed

Natasha Reid

A 41-year-old woman has told her husband’s murder trial that he thought she was in a relationship with the man he allegedly killed.

Rashida Bibi Haider was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court today in the trial of her 31-year-old husband, who is charged with murdering her cousin and injuring her by stabbing them.

Shahzad Hussain of Woodland Avenue, Mosney, Co Meath has pleaded not guilty to murdering Muhammad Arif (32) on January 7, 2011.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Ms Haider and to intentionally or recklessly causing her serious harm on January 6, 2011 at Mr Hussein’s apartment in Fitzwilliam Court, Dyer Street, Drogheda, Co Louth.

Ms Haider explained that she was born in Pakistan but moved to Holland at the age of six. She said her sister arranged her marriage to the accused in 2004 and that she met him for the first time at their marriage.

She said she lived with him for a few months in Lahore before returning to Holland and resuming work. She kept in contact with him by phone and returned to Pakistan for two months each year after that.

Ms Haider said she moved to Ireland at the end of 2008 and moved to Drogheda a few months later, sharing an apartment with her cousin, Muhammad Arif. She said she applied for a visa for her husband and he joined them living in the apartment in April 2010.

She said that everything was ok at first between her husband and herself.

“With the passage of time, things started to change,” she said, adding that her husband didn’t speak English and that caused frustrations.

She testified that she moved out of the apartment in December of that year without telling her husband or her cousin.

She said her husband came to visit her at her workplace in Dublin and that he, her sister and a doctor asked her to return to him, but she said she needed time.

She said that she went to Mr Arif’s home on the evening of January 5, 2011 to collect some things and that her cousin let her in. She said he went to work and that she spent the evening on the couch as she felt sick.

She said she took some tablets and went to bed in her cousin’s bed.

“The other room was very dirty. I cannot sleep in dirty beds,” she said.

She said she cooked something for both of them when her cousin returned from work in the morning. He went to bed and she spent her time cooking, watching television and praying, she said.

She said she heard a knock while she was in the bathroom and came out to see her husband in the living room.

“He was a bit angry,” she said.

She said that he opened the door to her cousin’s bedroom and asked him where she was living. She said her cousin said he didn’t know and that her husband returned to the living room and hit her on the mouth.

“I fell in the kitchen. I said please stop,” she testified, adding that she asked her cousin to help.

She said her husband put his hand over her mouth and beat her before taking out a knife out of a kitchen drawer.

“He pushed me there and I was crying to my cousin: ‘Help, Arif, Help’. Arif said to go sit,” she continued. “Then he pushed the knife in my cousin.”

She said that her husband then stabbed her twice and tried to slit her throat, but she stopped him, cutting her fingers.

“Then my cousin said: ‘Take your wife and go’,” she said.

She said her husband left and that her cousin called an ambulance. She went downstairs for help, and was taken to hospital for surgery.

She didn’t see her cousin again; he died in hospital the following day.

Aileen Donnelly SC, prosecuting, asked her if she was romantically involved with her cousin.

“No,” she replied.

However, she said that her husband thought she may have been.

“Did he appear jealous of that?” asked Ms Donnelly.

“Yes,” she replied.

Dominic McGinn SC, defending, has begun cross examining Ms Haider and will continue to do so on Monday before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of nine men and three women.

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