Anthony FranceWed, 24 February 2021, 7:20 pm
A bus driver who killed his wife in a brutal attack before claiming she had threatened to throw him out for having Covid-19 has been convicted of murder.
Hussein Egal, 66, used a variety of household items including a table leg and ladder during his frenzied assault on 57-year-old Maryan Ismail.
He admitted carrying out the killing in Edmonton, north London, during lockdown in early April last year but denied it was murder.
A jury at the Old Bailey took just 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 plunged repeatedly into her back, chest, legs and head.
Mrs Ismail, a school cleaner, was found partially naked on the floor of the blood-splattered lounge with 68 sites of injuries all over her body covered with a purple duvet.
They included multiple slash and stab wounds to her face, head and the entire length of her body.
Police received a call from a member of the public at around 6pm on April 6.
He stated that a man had approached him in the foyer of the flats in South Mall and confessed to killing his wife.
Egal told officers who arrived: “I killed her yesterday morning.”
The Somalian defendant had offered a number of explanations for the killing, telling one officer he had coronavirus and he should stay away.
He claimed that when he told his wife he was infected, she said he could 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 Egal showed no signs of having Covid-19.
She 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”.
In his defence, Egal denied he used Covid as a “convenient excuse”.
Asked if he had lied about having mental health problems to explain what he had done, Egal said: “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.
Detective Sergeant Lucy Carberry, of the Met’s Specialist Crime, said: “The officers who discovered Maryan’s body were faced with a truly terrible scene.
“Maryan had suffered extensive injuries and the turmoil and disorder in the flat showed there had been a considerable disturbance.
“Egal claimed he was defending himself, but there was no indication of him suffering any injuries.”
“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.”