London

Linah Keza death: Model 'fearful' of murder accused

Linah Keza Image copyright AMC Agency/PA
Image caption Linah Keza, 29, died at her home in Leyton, east London

The ex-boyfriend of a model found stabbed to death regularly threatened he would kill her if she ever left him, her sister has told a court.

Susan Assiimwe told the Old Bailey Linah Keza, 29, lived in fear of David Gikawa, 39, during their relationship and after she ended it.

Mr Gikawa denies murdering Ms Keza at her flat in Leyton, east London, on 31 July last year.

The court heard Ms Keza had contacted the authorities for protection.

Ms Assiimwe told the court Mr Gikawa became jealous and controlling of her sister after the couple got together in 2009.

She said her sister told her he had threatened to stab her on at least one occasion and behaved violently towards her.

'So possessive'

"Linah's relationship with David was fearful," Ms Assiimwe said.

"She always complained of him being so possessive, not giving her her liberty. He vetted her calls and sms (text messages)."

Giving evidence from behind a curtain, Ms Assiimwe said Mr Gikawa told her sister: "I'm the only man in your life. The moment that you have another man, that will be the end of that man, you."

Ms Assiimwe, who lived in Rwanda but regularly spoke to her sister on the phone, said Mr Gikawa had also told her directly that he would kill her sister if she ever left him.

She said Ugandan-born Mr Gikawa did not like Ms Keza going to traditional Rwandan dancing sessions, even though they were her "passion" and that was how they had met.

'Life in danger'

She told jurors that on one occasion when she was dancing: "All of a sudden David showed up and he kidnapped her.

"They drove off like mad people."

The next day she noticed her sister was losing her voice, and was told it was because Ms Keza had been screaming so hard.

Ms Keza visited her family in Rwanda from November 2012 to February last year, which was the last time Ms Assiimwe ever saw her.

During the visit, Ms Keza told Ms Assiimwe: "My life is in danger with David."

Jurors previously heard Ms Keza had been in contact with both the police and social services before she died of stab wounds to the chest.

The trial continues.

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