Rania Alayed case: 'Westernised' wife 'murdered by husband'

Rania Alayed Rania Alayed went missing on 7 June

A mother of three from Manchester was murdered by her husband for becoming "too westernised" and "establishing an independent life", a court has heard.

Rania Alayed, 25, went missing last June but her body has never been found.

Ahmed Al-Khatib admits causing her death, claiming he was "possessed of a spirit" when he pushed her, causing her to stumble, fall and bang her head.

Al-Khatib, 35, of Gorton, and his brother Muhaned Al-Khatib, of Salford, both deny murder.

Syrian-born Ms Alayed went to drop off her children at the flat of the defendant's brother, where she is said to have been murdered.

Muhaned Al-Khatib, 38, left the address with the children some 45 minutes later and shortly afterwards Ahmed Al-Khatib walked out wearing some of her traditional clothing with a suitcase containing her corpse, the Manchester Crown Court jury was told.

'Comply or be killed'

Muhaned Al-Khatib said he was not present at the time that any violence was used against Ms Alayed and did not bear any responsibility for her murder, the court heard.

It is alleged that in the early hours of the next day the two brothers, and another sibling, drove her body from Manchester to North Yorkshire where she was buried.

The prosecution told the jury the mother of three, from Cheetham Hill, had been "in fear of her husband" and "believed he might one day kill her".

She had sought help from the Citizens Advice Bureau, the police and eventually a solicitor which had angered her husband's family, the court heard.

Tony Cross QC, prosecuting, said: "The family of the defendants were insulted that she had gone to the law. They wanted her and her children back within the family fold.

"They believed that she was establishing an independent life, perhaps with another man. Therefore, it was decided that she should either be forced to comply or be killed."

Mr Cross added that in her husband's eyes she "began to become a little too westernised and had friends, male and female".

"This was all too much for the first two defendants," he said.

Al-Khatib and and his brother admit intending to pervert the course of justice by transporting and concealing the body of Ms Alayed.

A third brother, Hussain Al-Khatib, 34, of Knutsford Road, Gorton, denies the latter charge.

The trial continues.

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