London - A Muslim convert was murdered in a knife and hammer attack by her husband and another woman after she continued to see a friend he had forbidden her from visiting, a court heard on Thursday.
Mother-of-four Sinead Wooding, 26, was attacked at a party at Yasmin Ahmed’s home after a vodka-fuelled row with her cannabis-smoking husband Akshar Ali, 27, in the kitchen.
Prosecutor Nicholas Campbell QC said Ali and Miss Wooding’s relationship was ‘volatile’ and sometimes violent. The couple – who married in an Islamic ceremony – argued about her visiting friends. Miss Wooding had been inspired to follow the faith after watching a friend, Anaya Macama, convert.
Ali did not approve of Miss Macama and had ‘forbidden’ Miss Wooding from visiting her, as well as other friends and Miss Wooding’s sister, the jury was told.
Miss Wooding, who had adopted the Islamic name Zakirah, believed her husband might be having an affair with Ahmed, also 27, because he regularly visited her, the court heard.
But Mr Campbell said it was possible their friendship was platonic and that it was cannabis that drew them together. Police later found cannabis growing at Ahmed’s home.
He told the jury that, whatever the reason, the marriage was under strain and Miss Wooding had started wearing Western clothes again in the days before the party in May.
Mr Campbell said guests reported hearing a thud in the kitchen, where Miss Wooding and Ali had been arguing. He described how Ahmed went to check on the couple but returned and told other revellers at the house in Potternewton, Leeds, that Miss Wooding had stumbled into a door but was OK.
But Miss Wooding had somehow been incapacitated during the kitchen incident and was killed later, he told Leeds Crown Court. Her body was stored in the cellar for two days before being driven to woods and set on fire.
Mr Campbell said Miss Wooding had been stabbed several times and struck repeatedly about the head with a claw hammer.
Ali, of Hyde Park, Leeds, who is the father of Miss Wooding’s youngest two children, and Ahmed, of Potternewton, deny murder. Ali’s brother Asim, 21, his mother Aktahr Bi, 45, both of Hyde Park, and Vicky Briggs, 25, of Potternewton, deny assisting an offender.