Hussein Egal: Bus driver guilty of wife's 'Covid-19 row' murder

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image captionHussein Egal, 66, used a variety of household items during his frenzied assault on 57-year-old Maryan Ismail

A bus driver who attacked his wife with a table leg, ladder and other weapons then claimed she had threatened to throw him out for having Covid-19, has been found guilty of murder.

Hussein Egal, 66, used a variety of household items during his "frenzied" assault on 57-year-old Maryan Ismail.

He admitted carrying out the killing in Edmonton, north London, in April last year but denied it was murder.

A jury at the Old Bailey took two hours to find him guilty on Wednesday.

During the trial, prosecutor Allison Hunter QC said it was a "brutal, frenzied, sustained attack".

She said he used a hammer, a knife or knives, pots and pans, a table leg and a ladder to cause injuries to his wife's back, chest, legs and head.

Mrs Ismail, a school cleaner, was found partially naked on the floor of the blood-splattered lounge.

The court heard there were 68 sites of injuries including multiple slash and stab wounds to her face, head and the entire length of her body.

'I will kill you first'

Egal gave police a number of explanations for the killing, telling one officer he had coronavirus and he should stay away from him.

He claimed when he told his wife he was infected, she told him to get out and die on the street, the court heard.

According to the defendant, he responded by telling her: "I will kill you first."

Ms Hunter told jurors he showed no signs of having Covid-19 and also rejected his claim to have been mentally ill at the time, saying he had the presence of mind to wash a bloody meat cleaver and dispose of his wife's mobile phone.

Ms Hunter said the attack "bore all the hallmarks of temper and rage".

Giving evidence in his defence, Egal denied he had used Covid as a "convenient excuse".

Asked if he had lied about having mental health problems to explain what he had done, he replied: "If I was not out of my mind or crazy, would I have killed my wife? For no reason I killed my wife."

Judge Mark Lucraft QC remanded the defendant into custody to be sentenced on Friday.

Following the verdict, Det Sgt Lucy Carberry said: "The officers who discovered Maryan's body were faced with a truly terrible scene.

"This was a wanton act of violence, carried out with sheer ferocity. It is important, particularly in the current climate with isolation and periods of lockdown that all of us do everything we can to stop domestic violence."

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