Tayside and Central Scotland

Man jailed for life for Bridge of Earn murder of former partner

Mohammed Ali Abboud Image copyright Facebook/Mohammed Ali Abboud
Image caption Mohammed Ali Abboud will serve at least 20 years in jail

A 57-year-old Perthshire chef who stabbed his former partner to death has been jailed for life.

Mohammed Ali Abboud, attacked 27-year-old Agnieszka Szefler in January 2015, at the Bridge of Earn home they used to share.

Abboud will serve at least 20 years after being found guilty of inflicting 21 stab wounds on the teacher, who was originally from Poland.

Judge Lord Uist told Abboud he had committed a "savage and brutal murder".

He said: "She was unable to defend herself and you showed her no mercy. Even after she had escaped into the garden you pursued her and repeatedly stabbed her yet again.

"You thereafter took steps, which included inflicting knife injuries on yourself, in an attempt to make it appear that she had attacked you with a knife.

"Your account of events at police interview was just ridiculous and rightly disbelieved by the jury."

Image copyright Agnieszka Szefler
Image caption Agnieszka Szefler was stabbed 21 times by her former partner

An eight-day trial at the High Court in Edinburgh heard that Abboud attacked Miss Szefler, who was known as Aga, as she packed her remaining belongings after ending their six-year relationship.

After biting and stabbing her, Abboud chased Miss Szefler into his back garden where he inflicted the fatal knife wound.

He then attempted to cover his tracks by stabbing himself with the knife, before cleaning it and placing it under Miss Szefler's body.

The attack was witnessed by neighbour Chloe Forbes Kindlen, who told the court that she went into shock after seeing Abboud plunge the knife into Ms Szefler.

In her 999 call, Ms Forbes Kindlen said: "I saw somebody getting stabbed. The guy was stabbing her in the garden."

New partner

The jury heard that the couple met in 2008 when Miss Szefler was studying at Perth College. Miss Szefler moved to Kuwait in 2013.

When Abboud would not move there to be with her, she ended the relationship in November 2014.

Miss Szefler texted Abboud to say she would be visiting Scotland in January 2015.

She received a call from her new partner as she packed her belongings in Abboud's house shortly before the attack.

The jury at the High Court in Edinburgh took two-and-a-half hours to return a verdict of guilty of murder.

They also returned a guilty verdict to a charge that Abboud attempted to defeat the ends of justice and had taken active steps to avoid arrest by tampering with evidence.

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