A British mother’s last words was a declaration of love to her South African husband which she allegedly uttered in a desperate bid to stop him from battering her to death, an Australian court has heard.
But despite Fahima Yusuf’s plea, her husband Ahmed Dawood Seedat continued to strike her with a wheel brace in their bed while their children slept at the family house in Perth, Western Australia, in August.
According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Seedat then buried his wife’s body in their garden following her murder which is believed to be motivated by his desire to start a relationship with her sister.
This week, an Australian court described Seedat’s murderous actions as “brutal, callous and cowardly” as it sentenced him to 23 years behind bars.
According to the British publication, Justice Bruno Fiannaca explained the lengthy jail sentence was partially attributed to the fact he considered the murder to be premeditated as he believed he had planned it weeks in advance and that Seedat, who is formerly from Durban, had egotistical motives.
The judge told the court the 37-year-old accountant had previously searched online for chilling terms including “cremating a body”, “best place to knock someone out” as well as how to bury someone alive.
Seedat had also searched online: “Can you marry your brother-in-law if your sister is dead Muslim?”
But the Daily Mail said Seedat confessed to his wife’s murder to the Australian police and told officers he killed her because he could not handle her sexual advancements and he was no longer attracted to her.
Seedat told the court through his lawyer Bernard Standish his wife of eight years became “sexually aggressive” and this prompted him to attack her.
He said his wife’s final words were her telling him: “I love you.”
But Justice Fiannaca found Seedat’s explanation to be implausible and said Yusuf’s plea of love was proof of the betrayal she felt and that it only demonstrated her horror and desperation to stop her husband from killing her.
The judge told the court Yusuf was initially asleep when the attack started but woke up after the first blow.
He explained she was vulnerable at the hands of her husband who easily overpowered her as he continued to carry out the attack.
The Daily Mail reported Seedat then choked or suffocated Yusuf and buried her bloody corpse in a hole that had been made by a building contractor who was told it was to install a pool for his two young children aged 2 and 5.
Although the cause of the 32-year-old mother’s death is still unknown, Justice Fiannaca told the court that she suffered lacerations to her head and body, and had sand in her mouth but not in her airways.
She was reported missing four days after her death and Australian police found her body the following day.
Following Yusuf’s death, her husband explained her absence by insisting to their friends and neighbours she had gone to the UK for eye surgery.
But the Daily Mail report claims that he told her sister she had left him.
The convicted murderer also asked a friend to phone his dead wife’s interstate father and to impersonate a police officer.
Justice Fiannaca said it was part of Seedat’s narcissistic traits that he thought people would believe his lies and he would get away with his wife’s murder.
“It may have been technically clumsy but it was calculated behaviour,” he told the Australian court.
Seedat had intended to try to pursue a relationship with his sister-in-law, who he described as his best friend, but she viewed him as a brother.
“You envisaged a future with your sister-in-law … you had become emotionally dependent on her,” Justice Fiannaca was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying.
Justice Fiannaca added Seedat had deprived his children of both their parents, but accepted he was remorseful.
Seedat is separately facing fraud charges, with allegations he stole $5.7million (about R83m).