Husband 'killed evil apparition Rania Alayed in self-defence'

Rania Alayed Image copyright PA/GMP
Image caption Rania Alayed went missing on 7 June

A man killed his wife in self-defence when she approached him in the form of an evil apparition, a court has heard.

Ahmed Al-Khatib, 35, claims the spirit then commanded him to bury her body.

Mother-of-three Rania Alayed, 25, from Manchester, went missing last June but her body has never been found.

Al-Khatib, of Gorton, admits causing her death but denies murder. His brother Muhaned, 38, also denies murder but admits intending to pervert the course of justice.

Prosecutors say Al-Khatib murdered Ms Alayed, who previously lived in Norton, Teesside, at his brother's flat in Salford and then began an elaborate deception to convince her family and friends that she was still alive.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court was told that Al-Khatib was claiming a partial defence of diminished responsibility.

Restrained by guards

Tony Cross QC, prosecuting, said: "The defendant accepts he was responsible for the death of his wife Rania but he insists it was not his intention to harm his wife.

"He had been mentally unwell at that time with paranoia manifested in auditory and visual hallucinations, with a djinn - an evil apparition speaking to the defendant.

"Immediately prior to the death of his wife the defendant began to see his wife in the form of a djinn. This vision terrified him and advanced towards him.

"The defendant believed he was going to be killed and pushed her back.

"His wife struck her head against a mirror or a piece of furniture and she was rendered unconscious and then realised she was dead.

"The defendant will say he was acting in self-defence in pushing his wife, the djinn, away.

"The prosecution do not accept that the defendant's mental responsibility was diminished at all."

He said that the defendant had been seen by a number of psychiatrists and reports were submitted about his behaviour.

A prosecution expert pointed out "concerns" as to whether or not the actions of the defendant were "simply being made up".

At that point the defendant lunged forward from his seat in the dock and put his hands around the neck of an interpreter.

Trial halted

He had to be physically restrained by guards and the trial was temporarily halted.

Al-Khatib was arrested on 4 July and had made no complaint of any mental illness, the court heard.

He told police the relationship had been trouble-free until January last year when his wife rang police about a row when he had taken her phone.

Detectives were told he had not seen her since April and he had tried to contact her 30 times but believed her to be in Turkey or Syria.

The next day Muhaned Al-Khatib, of Salford, told police that Ms Alayed was not alive and she had been buried at the side of a layby on the A19 in north Yorkshire.

He denied helping his brother to murder her or bury her and said he had not seen her body.

The court heard he agreed to show police where her grave was but the location could not be found.

Al-Khatib 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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