"It may have been technically clumsy but it was calculated behaviour."
Accountant Ahmed Seedat, aged 37, was jailed for a minimum of 23 years at The Supreme Court of Western Australia for murdering his wife.
Seedat, who was originally from Durban, South Africa, beat Fahima Yusuf to death at their home in Carlisle, Western Australia.
It was heard that he wanted to have a relationship with her sister. He had also been unfaithful to his wife, paying to see a prostitute for a number of years.
Seedat had planned the murder, searching online for terms like “cremating a body” and details of how to bury someone alive weeks before the killing on August 31, 2018.
Ms Yusuf, originally from Bolton in the UK, was attacked with a wheel brace as she slept.
Supreme Court Judge Bruno Fiannaca explained that she woke up after the first blow but was easily overpowered by him as he continued his attack.
He then suffocated or choked her as their children slept in the next room.
Seedat buried her in a shallow grave which he had hired contractors to dig, telling them it was going to be a pool for their children, ages five and two.
Following the murder, Seedat lied to explain her absence, telling friends she had gone to the UK for eye surgery. He told her sister she had left him.
Seedat also asked a friend to call Ms Yusuf’s father and impersonate a police officer.
As the court heard details of the murder, Seedat held his head in his hands.
Justice Fiannaca said: “It may have been technically clumsy but it was calculated behaviour.”
Four days after her death, Ms Yusuf was reported missing and police found her body the next day after digging up the back garden of Seedat’s home.
In September 2018, the accountant was charged with her murder. He pleaded guilty in January 2019.
After his arrest, Seedat had tried to blame his wife. He told police that his marriage was deteriorating due to his wife’s “sexual demands of him”.
He also claimed Ms Yusuf was emotionally abusive and he attacked her because she had become “sexually aggressive” towards him.
Police discovered the incriminating internet searches prior to the murder. They also found text messages between Seedat and his sister-in-law.
The prosecution explained that Seedat and his sister-in-law were friends but he hoped to pursue a relationship with her after his wife’s death.
Justice Fiannaca said:
“You envisaged a future with your sister-in-law… you had become emotionally dependent on her.”
The court heard that Ms Yusuf’s last words to her husband as he was beating her were: “I love you.”
The Judge told Seedat: “It demonstrates her fear and desperation to stop you from killing her.
“The deceased would have been terrified.”
Justice Fiannaca added that it was a brutal and cowardly attack, saying:
“I am satisfied you had planned the murder for some weeks and you had egotistical motives.
“You thought you could get away with killing your wife by creating a ruse that she was acting irrationally and irresponsibly.
“It was calculating behaviour.”
Seedat was jailed for life without the possibility of parole for 23 years on May 27, 2019.
Ms Yusuf’s cause of death remains undetermined, however, Justice Fiannaca stated that she had lacerations on her head and body. She also had sand in her mouth but not in her airways.
Seedat is also facing fraud charges as it is alleged that he stole £3 million.