Bus driver jailed for life after battering wife to death during first coronavirus lockdown

February 26, 2021

A bus driver has been jailed for life after killing his wife during an "intense rage" during the first UK coronavirus lockdown.

Hussein Egal, 66, battered 57-year-old Maryan Ismail to death with a hammer, meat cleaver, table leg, pots and pans and a ladder.

On Friday, Judge Mark Lucraft QC jailed Egal for life with a minimum term of 22 years.

He said Ms Ismail had suffered a "sustained and vicious attack".

Ms Ismail's mutilated body was found covered with a blanket at her flat in Edmonton, north London, on 6 April last year.

The school cleaner suffered 70 injuries to her body, with the most severe to her head and chest, the court heard.

Following the incident, Egal told police his wife had threatened to throw him out of the house for having COVID-19.

He admitted carrying out the killing but denied it was murder.

An Old Bailey jury rejected his defence of diminished responsibility and he was found guilty of murder after two hours of deliberation.

The judge said: "Quite what your motivation for this attack was, only you will really know. In the period immediately before the attack, and in the period that followed, you largely carried on with your life.

"Your actions show that you had little if any remorse immediately after the events - your thoughts then were entirely about yourself and not Maryan."

Egal claimed coronavirus tests had shown Ms Ismail did not have the virus, while he refused to be tested.

But despite his claim that he had the virus in March last year and was not working, records showed he was working up to and including 27 March.

The judge also highlighted a psychiatric report which found Egal was not suffering a major mental disorder.

He added: "It seems to me that, on all the evidence here, you were someone in the middle of an intense rage at the moment of the killing and for whatever reason were intent on killing your wife."

Ms Ismail was described by a close friend as a "kind and calm person with a good heart".

Her son, who lives in the Netherlands, was unable to attend his mother's funeral.

Judge Lucraft said: "One can only imagine the impact of losing a mother in these circumstances."

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