Man tells murder trial he felt like someone had taken his soul after he killed wife

Man tells murder trial he felt like someone had taken his soul after he killed wife

Ridda Zanab

Danish Irfan told the court he felt like someone had taken his soul after killing his wife

First published in News
Last updated

A 22-YEAR-OLD man told a murder trial he felt like someone had taken his soul after he killed his wife with a hammer at their Bradford home.

Danish Irfan said he fell to the floor. His head was spinning. He saw Ridda Zanab's face covered in blood and he felt sick.

"I cried and checked her pulse. I thought: 'What have I done?'

"She wasn't breathing. I knew she was dead," he said from the witness box at Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

Irfan denies murdering Mrs Zanab, 21, at their address in Alford Terrace, Lidget Green, Bradford, on November 3 last year.

He has pleaded guilty to her manslaughter.

Irfan said his wife, who had given birth to their daughter two months earlier, was going out until the early hours and he suspected she was seeing another man.

She came home at around 4am that day and was sleeping while he looked after the baby.

Irfan said he was using a hammer to fix a clock on to the bathroom wall and was holding it when he went into the bedroom to check if Ridda was awake.

"I saw her phone and the light was on. It was next to her head on the bed. She was asleep. I opened the message. It was a smiley face," he said.

"I had a suspicion. I knew there was someone, but I did not want to believe it. I went into the 'sent messages' and there was only one. 'I love you, mwahhh, good night'.

Irfan said it proved the mother of his child was going out with someone else.

He woke his wife and asked: "What is this?"

Irfan said she shouted and swore at him, saying: "How dare you touch my phone?"

She hurled insults, including: "You're not a real man. You're a pussy. You cannot satisfy me in bed."

He called her a bitch and said he wanted a divorce.

"My brain was making pictures and I was visualising things - that people were laughing at me," Irfan told the jury.

He was walking out of the room when Ridda told him he was not the father of their baby.

"I lifted up the hammer and struck into her head. I just saw her hand lifted and after that, I don't know if my eyes were open or closed," he said.

After the killing, he heard the baby crying, changed his blood-stained clothes, and dropped the infant off at her grandmother's house in Legrams Lane, Bradford.

His student visa expired that day and he tried to get himself deported from Manchester Airport. When that failed, a false passport and money were given to him and he fled the country to Pakistan.

He lived alone there before resolving to return to the UK, against the advice of family and friends.

Irfan said he emailed West Yorkshire Police and told them he was coming back, knowing he faced a murder charge.

The trial continues.

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