A Perth accountant killed his wife with a wheel brace while his young children slept in another room and then buried her body in the backyard of the family home, the Supreme Court has been told.
- Police found Fatima Yusuf’s body in a hole dug for a children’s pool
- Her husband Ahmed Seedat pleaded guilty to her murder in January
- He had researched the crime on the internet as part of an elaborate murder plot
Ahmed Seedat, 37, was charged with murder in September last year after the body of Fahima Yusuf, 32, were discovered buried in a shallow grave at the Carlisle property.
He pleaded guilty in January and faced a sentencing hearing today where details of the crime were revealed for the first time.
State prosecutor Nick Cogan told the court Ms Yusuf’s family had raised the alarm when they were unable to get in contact with her.
But her husband told them she had left the marriage and her two children, aged two and five at the time, and gone overseas for eye surgery.
He went so far as to engage a friend to pose as a police officer and phone the victim’s father to corroborate the story.
But he later admitted to police that he had bludgeoned Ms Yusuf to death in their home on the night of August 31 and then buried her body in a hole in the couple’s backyard.
The court was told that hole had been dug by a landscape gardener hired by Seedat weeks earlier.
He had told the contractor he planned to install a pool for his children.
Internet searches revealed intent: prosecution
The court was read a string of internet searches carried out by Seedat in the weeks before the killing, which the prosecution alleged demonstrated the murder was planned weeks in advance.
They included “burying a cat”, “cremating a body” and “burying someone aliv [sic]”.
Text messages between Seedat and his wife’s sister were also presented to the court, with the prosecution saying that while they were just “close friends”, the inference could be made that he had wanted to progress his relationship with his sister-in-law after his wife’s death.
A further internet search by Seedat on August 8 — three weeks before the murder — added to that inference.
“Can you marry brother in law if sister dead, muslim [sic],” it read.
Marriage was breaking down
Seedat claimed that his eight-year marriage had been under stress because of his wife’s “sexual demands of him”.
He told police she was emotionally abusive and on the night of the murder she had become “sexually aggressive” towards him, causing him to attack her.
The court heard there was a “dysfunctional aspect to the sexual side of the relationship” and that Seedat had engaged the services of an escort for a number of years before his wife’s death.
Defence lawyer Bernard Standish said his client was remorseful and was resigned to the fact that he would be sentenced to life in jail, but was hopeful he would be considered for parole.
“He wishes he could take it all back,” Mr Standish said.
“His behaviour is completely unacceptable and has affected many many people.”
But Mr Cogan argued the court should be sceptical of anything Seedat said.
“He has a history of untruthfulness,” Mr Cogan said.
“His remorse comes after having tried to hide his actions.
“While Mr Seedat’s actions might have been technically clumsy, it was clear that he intended to try to get away with this.”
The court was told Seedat is also facing a string of dishonesty charges after allegedly stealing millions of dollars from some of his financial clients.
Mr Standish said the accountant had developed a serious gambling addiction, on some occasions betting hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time on horse racing, and intended to plead guilty to those allegations.
Seedat will be sentenced for the murder conviction later this month.