UK

Syria wife Lorna Moore 'abused' by fighter husband

Lorna Moore Image copyright PA

A woman accused of failing to tell police her husband was part of a group heading to fight for so-called Islamic State in Syria has told her trial she was a victim of his domestic abuse.

Lorna Moore, 33, said she hated her estranged husband Sajid Aslam.

Ms Moore, who lives in Walsall, told the Old Bailey she would have told the police if she had known her husband had gone to fight for IS.

She denies failing to disclose information about acts of terrorism.

Mr Aslam flew to Turkey in August 2014, and prosecutors say he is believed to be fighting there.

Prosecutors say Ms Moore, who is originally from Northern Ireland, was part of a network in Walsall from which a number of men went to Syria to fight.

Divorce claim

"Islamic State are brutes," she said. "I would have told the police [if I had known he was going to fight]."

Ms Moore, who has three children with Mr Aslam, said he became abusive after they became parents, and would pull her hair and push her head into the toilet if it was not clean enough.

She asked Judge Charles Wide QC if she was allowed to swear in court, so she could list the derogatory terms Mr Aslam would use to belittle her.

The court heard that, in 2010, Ms Moore went to police to ask them to help evict him from the family house, but they could not help.

"I had got to the point where I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I had been pleading with him to leave voluntarily," she said.

She said she locked him out and he stayed with his mother for six months.

Ms Moore, a Muslim convert, said she then sought a divorce but was told by a Muslim cleric that this would lead to hell.

Instead, she said she and Mr Aslam began leading separate lives under the same roof.

No 'obvious signs'

In August 2014, she went on holiday to Butlins in Skegness with her parents and children.

While there, her husband contacted her saying he was going travelling - and sent her the number of another man, Ayman Shaukat, with whom he had left house keys and other items.

Ms Moore said she believed her husband was going travelling with his sister - but later realised something was "odd".

"When you came home from Skegness, were there obvious signs he was never coming back?" asked Rag Chand, defending.

"No," replied Ms Moore.

She added: "I hate him for what he has done to me and the kids [while] he is happily sitting somewhere else."

She told jurors she would never have taken her children to join Mr Aslam in Syria, saying they "mean the world to me".

Cross-examined by Julian Christopher QC, Ms Moore denied that she had planned with her husband what she would tell their children if he died in battle.

"I was brought up in Northern Ireland," she said.

"As a teenager you check under your car [for a bomb]. That is not the life I want for my children."

Mr Shaukat, also from Walsall, denies preparation of acts of terrorism by assisting Mr Aslam and another man to leave the UK for Syria.

Related Topics