National

Sydney wife stabber on trial for murder

By AAP Newswire

A man who stabbed his wife 14 times after seeing sexual messages from their friend on her phone, posted the words "THE END" on Facebook and had a cigarette before calling triple zero, a Sydney judge has been told.

Shahab Ahmed has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murdering his wife, Khondkar Fariha Elahi, 29, in their Parramatta unit in February 2017, claiming the partial defence of substantial impairment by abnormality of mind.

The 35-year-old's plea of guilty to manslaughter was not accepted by the Crown as his trial began on Tuesday.

"The accused's case is that at the time ... he was substantially impaired by depressive illness," Ahmed's barrister, Avni Djemal, said.

According to the agreed facts, Ahmed first became suspicious of his wife's affair with Omar Khan in April 2015.

A heated argument began on February 18 in 2017 when Ahmed snatched her phone to read her messages before dragging her into the bedroom and demanding to know the truth.

Ahmed, who also went by the name Russel, later picked up a kitchen knife, saying: "If you shout or scream, I'll kill you. Give me access to your phone. I will show that you are lying. After proving that I will go away."

Ms Elahi unlocked her phone but after seeing her ongoing contact with Mr Khan, including recent messages "of a sexual nature", Ahmed began stabbing her repeatedly.

"When the accused was stabbing her, the deceased was saying 'Forgive me Russel, forgive me Russel'."

Ahmed left his wife on the bed and smoked several cigarettes over 10 minutes.

He changed his Facebook status to "THE END" and switched his wife's profile picture to one of them smiling together.

In court on Tuesday, Mr Khan admitted to having an affair with Ms Elahi from July 2015 involving passionate kissing and hand-holding. But, he said, they didn't have sex.

Under cross-examination, he conceded they had exchanged nude photographs, highly sexual messages, gifts on birthdays and Valentine's Day and referred to each other as "hubby" and "wifey".

Mr Khan said he'd known Ahmed since 1999 and the two men and their wives built up a strong friendship which saw the couples holidaying in Bangladesh together.

He said he received a phone call from Ahmed in September 2016, during which he stated: "I hope you're happy. You can come over. I am leaving home."

The prosecutor said the judge will hear evidence Ahmed made a number of inquiries before the killing "about the various punishments" for infidelity according to Islam and "had turned his mind to punishing his wife".

Friends and colleagues of Ahmed gave evidence they knew Ms Elahi wanted a divorce but "he didn't want to".

Mr Hughes said given the nature and number of injuries, the weapon used and Ahmed's actions immediately following the attack, Justice Monika Schmidt would be satisfied "he intended to kill".

The judge-alone trial continues.

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